Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

Why do we focus only on negative things in depression forgetting all the positive and strong things we have?

24 Answers
Last Updated: 07/13/2020 at 2:40am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Sarah Robb, LISW-S (Licencsed Independent Social Worker, Supervisor Designation) and LICDC (Licenced Chemical Dependency Counselor)

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. Life poses many challenges. Learning to face, cope with, and resolve these challenges can increase our resilience.

Top Rated Answers
November 9th, 2015 2:10am
Mostly because negative things usually are more powerful than the positive ones so our minds tend to have a hard time thinking more on the positive side
November 14th, 2017 7:41pm
Because you feel bad for one thing and after that everything is bad for you. You see negative in everything. You just need to start seeing good things in everything and stay positive
March 3rd, 2015 4:05am
Because when we strive for perfection, we see the negative things as things that need to be fixed, but the positive things are pushed away because there's nothing that needs to be done there. But with depression, it is hard to control perfectionism, and it can lead to people becoming consumed in their faults and discouraged when they feel there is no way to fix them. However, we're here to remind them of those great and positive qualities that they have discarded, so they can feel renewed and distracted from their problems, if only temporarily.
August 4th, 2015 10:19am
Because when we have it, we tend to forget that depression isn't the only thing that makes us. Depression is like seeing through a pair of broken smudgy glasses. It's hard to see what's really going on.
July 2nd, 2018 2:15pm
When you are feeling sad it is hard to focus on the positive. Your mind grabs onto the negative and holds it tight, which makes you more upset. Depression tried to get you into a cycle of sadness by not realizing the good.
March 1st, 2015 11:02pm
CBT, a form of psychotherapy, believes that the reverse is true. i.e. it is the focusing on negative thoughts and experiences (rumination) that causes depression. CBT also believes that we have a set of core beliefs that can cause depression or not. If we have unrealistic or unhelpful core beliefs it can cause suffering. One core belief might be 'People should be nice to me, if I'm nice to them'. The problem with such a core belief is that when it doesn't happen we feel upset.
April 9th, 2015 3:02pm
Maybe because that's how depression works. It wants you to focus on this negative side. I covers the every positive thoughts wherein all you could see is the darkness. It overpowers us that's why we forget every positive and strong things we have.
May 12th, 2015 6:03pm
Depression can be very overwhelming and can be over come with the proper help from professionals so that you do not spend so much time on the negative things and can think more strongly on the things that are positive,
June 9th, 2015 1:18am
We focus only on negative things in depression, forgetting all the positive and strong things we have, because it overwhelms our brain with constant "what if's", and when you're already struggling, the slightest thing that can go wrong ends up seeming like numerous multifarious events following the bad storm you're already going through. Depression is a fog that blocks you from clearly thinking and seeing all the good around you, and the even better things up ahead.
June 17th, 2015 3:54pm
We look at something negatively because thats how others makes us feel , but if you have a strong faith in yourself the possibility of this is rare, we view things based on the environment we are in. I guess pressure could be included here.
July 27th, 2015 2:33am
Depression focuses on negative things because it is a mood disorder caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. However, negative thoughts can be combated by challenging them. In the depths of it, it is important to remember what William Shakespeare once said:"Nothing is good or bad, thinking makes it so."
August 17th, 2015 6:42pm
we get stuck in all or nothing thinking and it often times requires an outside source to show us the positives that can actually be found...
January 5th, 2016 11:39am
Sweety, it's called "Depression" for a reason, not "Neutrality". It's not something you can just be like "Oh, look, a rainbow! I feel so happy!" It's a mental issue and usually based on chemical imbalances. It's not so much a choice to think on the negative but a force making us think on it. It takes time and lots of patience and practice to overcome depression and even then it doesn't go away like a rain-cloud, it just becomes more manageable.
February 8th, 2016 6:03am
Because we look for a reason or an excuse for being so sad. If you are depressed you just want to be able to explain why you are sad.
February 15th, 2016 4:19am
It's easier to be sad than it is to be happy, especially when we're taught to be happy for a reason instead of just that its nice to try to make yourself happy without a big reason. To explain this better, you could look up this channel on YouTube called actualized and they explain this idea better there. Also, lots of ted talks on youtube help with happiness too.
March 7th, 2016 3:57am
Partly because we are forced to grow up in an environment where people are competitive rather thatn supportive
June 13th, 2016 2:11pm
Because the chemicals in our brains, that usually make us happy, aren't released when we're depressed. Therefore we can't see the positives anymore.
August 1st, 2016 8:28am
When you are depressed, there is a void inside you, that brings you down whenever you'd like to rise above. It takes your memories first, then slowly replacing you with another being that can barely even live. That is why you can't see the forest for the trees. Depression is truly blind.
August 15th, 2016 5:26am
If you have depression it is a chemical in your brain. Something that you simply cannot help but can try to think positive with the right people supporting you.
August 16th, 2016 10:41pm
Sometimes the psychological pain we endure can have tragically negative effects, which lead to depression. When you enter that state of mind, it's like there's nothing positive in life. It's a natural response to depression that a large amount of us suffer.
April 17th, 2017 2:01pm
In a negative mindset, it takes less energy to point out the negative things in us rather than listing the good ones. This might be because we tend to remind ourselves of our negative traits, while underplaying our positive traits most of the time.
June 18th, 2018 8:10pm
Because negative thoughts are automatic. They come first and are overwhelming. However, know that you are always in control and can shift you thinking to positive things once you recognize a negative thought.
July 2nd, 2018 10:55am
Because, negative things tend to have more power over positive things. And since we are all human beings, we tend to overthink at times. The same thing happens with people who are depressed, but it's a little more intense with them. Therefore, overthinking leads a person to constantly have negative thoughts and make it harder for him/her to think positively (quite often).
July 13th, 2020 2:40am
I think focusing on negativity is due to our surroundings and how they think/feel/complain. it starts growing slowly on us, being lonely will make it worse as humans are social beings. when you get into depression, negative emotions increase significantly in a rate that depends on the persons. you start judging yourself harshly, in the most terrible ways, "i'm a trashcan, i can do nothing, i'm ugly, i'm dumb ...etc". leading us to forget about positivity, about the taste of life. in a simple way, being self-judgemental lead us to negativity. societies love free critics which became something everyone has inside of him (only few don't) judging others is easy, but when you start judging yourself its aweful. so yeah : stop judging, be easy to yourself, enjoy life.