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I have been depressed for so long that I dont remember what are "normal thoughts". What are the difference between normal and depressed thoughts?

30 Answers
Last Updated: 12/02/2019 at 4:07pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Jessica McDaniel, LPC, LCPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I have been practicing cognitive behavioral psychotherapy since 2007 with a diverse group of adult clients with various diagnoses, all races, and socioeconomic classes.

Top Rated Answers
March 15th, 2015 6:48am
Depressed thoughts are a reflection of the unbalanced chemicals in your brain. Normal thoughts are the reflection of who you truly are.
June 10th, 2015 5:22pm
I know what you feel.. I have been depressef long time, too. I also don't know the difference between normal and depressed thoughts, I just don't have thoughts, I'm like "heartless", and I also don't have facial expression, people don't know when I'm happy or when I'm sad.
February 23rd, 2016 3:04pm
That is a great question! Depression can be insidious because it can creep on so slowly that over time it becomes the new normal. What's so awful about this is it can cause you to forget what it was like before, which makes it all the more difficult to want to reach out for help because you're sitting here thinking "what's the point" or "there's nothing better." From my experience when you have any thoughts along those lines, those are depressed thoughts. When there isn't joy in looking towards the future... you guessed it, depression. I often times have to do a mental check in with myself to see how I'm doing and one of the questions I ask myself is if I'm excited for upcoming XYZ event or plan. If the answer is no... then I'm depressed and need to do some self care. Hope this helps!
February 12th, 2015 2:44am
That depends on the context. We all feel sad or suffer from low self worth now and again, but if you feel chronically hopeless, worthless, and low, chances are that's the depression talking.
June 7th, 2015 8:51pm
There is no normal thoughts and depressed thoughts. Its just our perception of it. The thoughts may look really good to a positive person and bad to a negative person. Like this famous example of half empty cup and half full cup. The difference is nothing but the mindset and perception of the situation. If u look at it in a positive way it will look good, negative way and it will look bad.
February 12th, 2015 2:46pm
I would say that depressed thoughts are nothing but negative thoughts that upset you and make you feel nothing but a range of bad feelings. Normal thoughts I would say are just the everyday thoughts that someone has about their life.
July 7th, 2015 1:24pm
I don't think there are any differences in the normal course of events - the difference is maybe how you perceive them. For example, its a sunny day. If you feel depressed, its still sunny, but the sun does not warm you - physically or spiritually. There will be underlying reasons why you are feeling depressed, and a healthier use of your time will be to nail these down and deal with them. Some will be easy to nail down, others much harder. When these reasons are under control - hopefully solved, but some reasons can never be solved - you will find the sun to be a bit warmer.
June 30th, 2015 4:35pm
Your thoughts are your thoughts. Negative thoughts are the hardest to get through. Anything that can feel overwhelming, overpowering, or scary can be tough. If you are thinking you're feeling these depressed thoughts, contact a 7 Cups member or the National Help Hotline immediately.
July 27th, 2015 6:37pm
There really is no sharp dividing line between "normal" and depressed thoughts, because depression IS normal and depressed people are generally not delusional, except about their own self-worth and whether there is hope for their futures. Depressed thoughts can be subtle and sneaky and mostly revolve around thinking bad things about yourself and predicting that bad things will happen. If you're extra sneaky and clever like me you'll tell yourself that it's not that you're a bad person, it's just that you have "low market value." And, confusingly, this might even be true, but it might not mean what you think it means, because not everyone is looking for the same thing. Anyway, if you're feeling confused about the difference, try sticking to the facts. A "fact," as I'm using the term, means any statement that can be proved or disproved. So "it is raining" is a fact, "I am crying" is a fact, "the milk went sour" is a fact. "I'm ugly" is not a fact, "I'm never going to get a girlfriend" is I guess technically provable but not until you're dead so for the moment it is not a fact, "I'm a flake and that's why everyone hates me" is not a fact. "I feel crappy" may not be measurable and provable but we will assume for the sake of discussion that it is a fact, since we don't have any way to measure feelings and it is a simple statement of how you feel, not a statement of what kind of person you think you are as a result.
August 24th, 2015 9:03am
Normal thoughts are thoughts which are temporary and has normal human emotions such as thoughts about happiness, sadness or just any other thoughts of our daily activities. While depressed thoughts are thoughts which lasts longer and makes a person feel stressed out and overwhelmed. Depressed thoughts makes a person to feel emotionally down such as thoughts about loss and dissappointment. However, normal thoughts are thoughts which don't really bothers a person or makes a person feel emotionally down or stressed out.
September 29th, 2015 11:13am
Depressed thought arises from thinking that there is nothing good left in this world. Not believing in yourself will not do you any good. Guys, no matter what, NOTHING is impossible. Whatever you're being thrown into, there is a way to fight it and get out of it. Normal thought gives us hope that we can achieve something no matter what life throws at us. You're beautiful ♥ Don't give up hope. ♥
December 12th, 2017 1:00am
Imagine looking through a pair of clear lenses the world would appear clear or "normal". However someone with depression may view the world wearing dark sunglasses, making the world appear dark and dreary. So the main difference between normal and depressing thoughts is how you view things and it is your view that can interpret how you think.
April 23rd, 2018 2:32am
Sadness is a normal human emotion. We’ve all experienced it and we all will again. Its usually triggered by a difficult, hurtful, challenging, or disappointing event, experience, or situation. In other words, we tend to feel sad about something. This also means that when that so called something changes, when our emotional hurt fades, when we’ve adjusted or gotten over the loss or disappointment, our sadness remits this is a normal process and thoughts between that time are considered normal human behavior. But depressed thoughts are much more diffrent. Depression is an abnormal emotional state, a mental illness that affects our thinking, emotions, perceptions, and behaviors in pervasive and chronic ways. When we’re depressed we feel sad about everything. Depression does not necessarily require a difficult event or situation, a loss, or a change of circumstance as a trigger. In fact, it often occurs in the absence of any such triggers. People’s lives on paper might be totally fine—they would even admit this is true—and yet they still feel horrible. I think after being in this state for so long its no wonder our depressed thoughts become our own separate world that seems never-ending. But rest assured there is a way out and your not alone in this mind battle!! 💖🌝
May 22nd, 2015 10:15am
When you feel happy, it's normal. WHen you don't feel happy, it's depressed. When you have plans for future, it's normal When you don't have anything, it's depressed. Very simple like that.
July 14th, 2015 10:53pm
Depressed thoughts may be in either black or white terms. Such as i Failed my exam so i am a failure. A better way to think is by examining your thought and seeing if it is true. There are several facets. Such as I failed the exam but i did better than i did on the last test. I am making progress. Try not to think of yourself as abnormal but work towards different perspectives in thought.
July 20th, 2015 11:52pm
The difference between normal thoughts and depressed thoughts is that you don't exactly have much interest.
August 24th, 2015 11:34pm
Depressed thoughts are often mainly negative, while "normal thoughts" are generally a mix of both positive and negative.
October 26th, 2015 10:37am
Forget the idea of having "normal" thoughts. Normal is a perception. Try to analyse your thoughts into positive or negatives. Then try and find the root of the negatives, why do you feel this way? Do you feel you should feel this way?
November 10th, 2015 3:55pm
Normal thoughts are thoughts are about daily life without the bad coming to mind. You find good in almost all of them. Depression thoughts are where you think everything bad and think no one is there. It can cause you to freak out or over think and put you into a bad mood.
November 10th, 2015 5:10pm
Normal thought can be just as painful, frustrating, and unmotivated as when you are in a depressed state. Remember that depression is an ongoing series of thoughts. Normal thought has breaks in those times where you may be feeling down, or angry, or plain worthless. This doesn't mean that you can't be happy when dealing with depression- it just means it takes a bit more effort to overcome the resting emotions (depressive state) you may have.
November 30th, 2015 5:01am
I don't really think the dichotomy between "depressed" and "normal" is very accurate. Depression isn't a separate entitiy taking place inside your skull, it's more like a facet of you. Think instead in terms of healthy and unhealthy. Think about if the thought is helping you, or if it's hurting you. What are the emotions connected to the thought? How grounded in fact is the thought? If you feel the thought is a healthy one that's helping you and not triggering harmful emotions, then accept it. If you feel that it may not be rational and it's hurting you, contradict it and try to understand what a more accurate and helpful thought is. You have control over your thoughts, they don't have to control you.
December 7th, 2015 7:54pm
Depressed thoughts are those biased to think the worst case scenario. In every aspect, be it about oneself or relationships or future. Normal thoughts arent biased.
February 2nd, 2016 10:56am
Hmm.. So you have been dealing with depression for a long time, and you struggle to find out if your thoughts are coming from the depression, or that they are 'normal' thoughts? Is it that you would like to know which thoughts you can 'trust' or follow.. in order to care for yourself? I have a concern around making a sharp separation between "depression thoughts" and "normal thoughts", because I believe that there is a sense of truth behind all thoughts you have. In my experience, when you can connect to where the thought is coming from.. when that part of you is heard, something changes, and there can be space for other thoughts that may be less connected to feeling down. How does that sound for you? Let me know if you would like to connect around the subject and/or this question!
February 8th, 2016 12:44am
Normal thoughts are of anger, grief and being upset. Depressed thoughts are of being deeply sad and down for a duration of time, without feeling positive in ones thoughts.
May 9th, 2016 4:32am
Being depressed neautralizes a constant state of bring sad and have a sack oof negativity on your load. Normal thoughts would be, "I love how beautiful the stormy weather is! I think I'm going to sit on the balcony." Depressed thoughts would be, "I can relate to this torturpring weather so much that I'm going to watch the angry cloud swirl around me."
September 6th, 2016 5:41pm
Normals thoughts are positive vibes coming out of your mind whereas depressed thoughts are full of negativity where you keeps blaming yourself and wants to get alone.
July 11th, 2017 10:36pm
Normal thoughts are happier. Normal thoughts doesn't make you tired . It doesn't make you question life and why you're living it . It doesn't make you think that people don't care about you and that they would be happier if you disappeared
February 12th, 2018 7:20pm
I would say that all of those thoughts are the same. It all depends on how you perceive your thoughts, whether negative or positive. It's normal to have thoughts which are bad and good, the difference is how we acknowledge them and if we turn our thoughts into feelings (this is where we choose to hang onto them). I hope you know that your thoughts are normal, you may just need to focus on how you perceive them.
April 17th, 2018 6:43am
Normal means to you what was different from the way you feel now. Make a list of the things you feel now are no longer making you feel like you used to. Personal experience for me was due to my chronic illness and loosing friends and family. I was told by a dr that depression would not go away by itself. I am not able to someone who did not ask for a referal . I also am not able to so i am new to i may have said that so I am clear that was a mistake. It is up to you if you will be willing to speak to a listener to know i still have depression on and off from my illness and loss of a family member as well i even got a bird for therapy. It helped but i am chronic pain and suffering rare illness so birds are something that require time and i may not be the same as you. Been a better person with talk therapy and it depends. Since i also can share my experience i can not say things to sway your beliefs as well. Would you like to speak with a listener who may be better suited for this. I am still handling this and it will not be good to have a listener who is in the same way suffering from my depression?
December 2nd, 2019 4:07pm
I would say the way to distinguish what thoughts are normal and depressed would be to break down each thought. Then ask yourself (your mind, heart, and gut - your soul) if that thought resonates and if it will help or hinder you. This will help gain an understanding of what is 'normal' and what is 'depressed' to you. If all of that seems too hard to do, from my experience, the thoughts are probably going to be mostly depressed. Ultimately for me I discern if my thoughts are depressed (and something to be aware of not to follow) depending on how I'm currently feeling and if those thoughts are expanding or restrictive/constricting.