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How to change attitude when feeling hopeless

I have this habit of struggling with feeling hopeless and helpless when my mental health and practical problems collide. I start feeling stuck in a corner and feeling like I have let my family and friends down.

Due to PTSD and a bad breakup I was unable to work for 3 years, without being on benefits. I was in too bad state to know I needed or deserved help. Now I'm still getting in debt to pay off debt and getting in unstable job situations one after another. That limits my chances for health care and other opportunities, it leads to a lot of stress and so on. Sometimes I start feeling cornered, like I have failed too many times and therefore disappointed friends and family believing in me, put myself in bad situations way too many times.

In short, I become jaded. I start feeling like no healthy or good change I make will have impact on time.
Hence, I do less because I am scared and it becomes a self-fulfilled prophecy.
I am aware of this pattern but I keep repeating it. I have spend 15 years feeling responsible for not saving my family out of poverty and being a golden child. The guilt at every mistake I make is crushing. I know now I am not responsible and the feeling is still there.

When you are in crisis it's important to do everything you can, which really deprends on your outlook as well.

How do I change my attitude in a tough situation to more positive and open to changes and actions rather than being frozen and inactive and catastrophizing an already bad situation?
 
I have this habit of struggling with feeling hopeless and helpless when my mental health and practical problems collide. I start feeling stuck in a corner and feeling like I have let my family and friends down.

Due to PTSD and a bad breakup I was unable to work for 3 years, without being on benefits. I was in too bad state to know I needed or deserved help. Now I'm still getting in debt to pay off debt and getting in unstable job situations one after another. That limits my chances for health care and other opportunities, it leads to a lot of stress and so on. Sometimes I start feeling cornered, like I have failed too many times and therefore disappointed friends and family believing in me, put myself in bad situations way too many times.

In short, I become jaded. I start feeling like no healthy or good change I make will have impact on time.
Hence, I do less because I am scared and it becomes a self-fulfilled prophecy.
I am aware of this pattern but I keep repeating it. I have spend 15 years feeling responsible for not saving my family out of poverty and being a golden child. The guilt at every mistake I make is crushing. I know now I am not responsible and the feeling is still there.

When you are in crisis it's important to do everything you can, which really deprends on your outlook as well.

How do I change my attitude in a tough situation to more positive and open to changes and actions rather than being frozen and inactive and catastrophizing an already bad situation?
I can hear how difficult and overwhelming things have been for you, @SeekingAfrica. It's not uncommon for past trauma and challenging life circumstances to make it harder to maintain a positive outlook when facing tough situations.

It's positive that you're aware of the pattern of feeling stuck and inactive. Recognizing this is an important step towards making changes. It sounds like you've carried a lot of responsibility on your shoulders for a long time. From what you've shared, it seems that you have a tendency to blame yourself for things that are beyond your control.

While it's natural to feel guilt and responsibility, it's important to recognize that you can't carry the weight of the world on your shoulders alone. It might be helpful to challenge your belief that you have let your family and friends down. Consider the support you have provided and the progress you have made, even in the midst of challenging circumstances.

Exploring the impact of your past trauma, such as the PTSD and the breakup, can also be beneficial. Traumatic experiences can shape our beliefs about ourselves and the world, leading to negative thinking patterns. Working with a trauma-focused therapist could help you process these experiences and develop healthier beliefs and coping strategies.

In terms of changing your attitude in tough situations, it can be helpful to focus on small, achievable goals. Break down your challenges into smaller steps and celebrate each accomplishment. Building a support network of understanding friends or joining support groups can also provide encouragement and guidance.

Additionally, practicing self-care is crucial in maintaining a positive mindset. Taking regular breaks, engaging in activities you enjoy, and prioritizing your physical and emotional well-being can help prevent burnout and promote a more positive outlook.

Remember, change takes time and effort, and it's okay to seek support along the way. Have you considered reaching out to a mental health professional? They could provide personalized guidance and help you navigate the challenges you're facing.
 
Thank you for the response! Can you tell me more about these 3 points:
  • 'exploring the impact of past trauma such as ptsd and the breakup- I have explored the trauma that got me to PTSD quite a lot but not the secondary trauma of having to cope with PTSD with no support and life setup in a foreign country
  • 'break down your challenges to smaller steps and celebrate accomplishments - how do I celebrate? How do I break down tasks that I have never done before?
  • How do I feel like I am doing enough?

Have you considered reaching out to a mental health professional?
I don't have the funds or opportunity/access to a mental health professinal for the time being.
 
I don't have the funds or opportunity/access to a mental health professinal for the time being.
I understand that financial constraints and limited access to mental health professionals can make it challenging to seek professional help at the moment. However, there are still some resources and strategies that could support you during this time.

Support groups and online communities can be a valuable source of connection and understanding. They offer a space to share experiences, receive support, and learn coping strategies from others who may be going through similar challenges. I encourage you to explore online forums, social media groups, or even a platform like MyPTSD that you're already a member of. Connecting with others who have experienced similar struggles can provide a sense of validation and support.

Self-help resources such as books, articles, and podcasts can also be beneficial in gaining insights and developing coping skills. While I can't provide specific recommendations or links, I encourage you to Google self-help resources related to PTSD, trauma, and changing negative thinking patterns. You may find titles that resonate with you and can be helpful in your journey.

Lastly, engaging in self-care practices can make a significant difference in managing tough situations and promoting a more positive mindset. This can include activities like physical exercise, mindfulness or relaxation techniques, journaling, engaging in hobbies or interests, and prioritizing time for rest and relaxation.

Remember to be patient and compassionate with yourself as you navigate these challenges. It's okay to lean on the resources that are available to you for support, and to continue seeking opportunities to access professional help in the future when it becomes more feasible.
 
How do I explore secondary trauma such as the impact of PTSD and a breakup on my situation to heal?
Exploring the impact of secondary trauma, such as PTSD and a breakup, on your current situation can be an important step in the healing process. Here are a few suggestions for how you can begin exploring and addressing these experiences:

1. Self-reflection: Take some time to reflect on how the PTSD and breakup have affected different areas of your life, such as your self-esteem, relationships, work, and overall well-being. Consider how these experiences continue to influence your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in the present. Journaling can be a helpful tool for this process, allowing you to process your thoughts and emotions more deeply.

2. Psychoeducation: Educating yourself about PTSD, trauma, and the typical impact of a breakup can help you gain a better understanding of your experiences. Look for reputable resources online, such as articles or books, that cover these topics. While I can't provide specific recommendations or links, there are many resources available through a simple Google search.

3. Seek support: Connecting with others who have experienced similar secondary trauma, such as joining a support group, can provide validation and support. This can be an opportunity to share your experiences, hear from others who have faced similar challenges, and learn coping strategies. Online forums and support groups can be particularly helpful if you have limited access to in-person support.

4. Emotional processing: Allow yourself to express and process your emotions related to the PTSD and breakup. This could involve talking with trusted friends or family members, engaging in creative outlets (e.g., art, music), or exploring therapeutic techniques such as journaling, deep breathing exercises, or mindfulness practices.

5. Self-care: Prioritize self-care activities that promote your physical and emotional well-being. Engaging in activities you enjoy, practicing relaxation techniques, getting regular exercise, prioritizing sleep, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the impact of secondary trauma on your overall well-being.

While these suggestions can be helpful, it's important to acknowledge that working through the impact of secondary trauma can be complex and may benefit from professional guidance. When you have the opportunity to do so, seeking the support of a mental health professional trained in trauma therapy can provide you with additional tools and support to address these issues more deeply.

Remember, healing takes time and it's a gradual process. Be patient and compassionate with yourself as you navigate your journey of healing from secondary trauma.
 
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