Not surprisingly, the harsh voice of the inner critic can contribute to depression. (Earlier, we discussed how the inner critic could contribute to anxiety https://www.new-perspective-counseling.com/5-reasons-your-inner-critic-often-causes-anxiety/.)
Many of the same things it says to you that cause anxiety also feed into the types of discouraging thoughts that increase depression. It can be hard to see the inner critic for what it truly is. Likewise, it can be hard to separate the messages it gives you from who and what you truly are.
The topics below can give you a place to begin to clear its negativity from your mind.
The inner critic is fond of telling you that your situation is hopeless. “You’ve already tried to change, and it didn’t work. You’ve been struggling with this problem for years. What makes you think it will get better?” It’s easy to see how thoughts like these make symptoms of depression worse.
Shame and Guilt
Creating a sense of shame that has nothing to do with who you really are or what you may have done in the past is another tactic of the inner critic. It likes to tell you that you’re worthless.
Shame says that you, as a person, can never do anything right. It says you are fundamentally flawed. This idea is utter nonsense, but when you’re depressed, it’s hard to talk back.
One symptom of depression is being easily distracted or having a hard time concentrating. You can view the inner critic as being part of this problem. Perhaps it likes to tell you that you’re wasting your time on a particular task. Maybe it likes to remind you of how often you fail to get things checked off your to-do list. It can make you feel overwhelmed and confused about where to begin.
Comparison is one of the favorite topics of the inner critic. It likes to whisper in your ears and point out all the ways you’re not as good as someone else. It makes even small things seem like big things. It can make you feel as though your life, your body, your family, and your career will never measure up.
Of course, none of that is true. The inner critic likes to compare your weaknesses to others’ strengths. It’s not a fair comparison.
The truth is that everyone is in different places in life. We have no idea what others are like behind closed doors or what struggles they face. Chances are, they are comparing themselves to you and countless others as well.
Loss of Purpose
The inner critic can pester and poke you to no end. It can make you question your sense of self, your abilities in your chosen career field, your effectiveness as a parent or spouse.
These are all key aspects of how and where you find purpose in life. The inner critic might tell you that you have no purpose in life. Again, this is just nonsense, but when you’re depressed, pushing back and speaking truth to the inner critic isn’t easy.
It’s easy to understand how the exceedingly negative voice of the inner critic can contribute to your symptoms of depression. In fact, the inner critic itself can be a symptom. Faced with such an onslaught of discouraging thoughts, you may feel overwhelmed and stuck in your depression.
Fortunately, you can train your brain to talk back to this inner critic. It definitely takes practice and time, but it is possible.
I can help you learn techniques to challenge the negative messages your inner critic gives you and replace them with healthy ones.
Together, we can find the best approach. Please reach out to my office today to learn more.
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