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Negative thinking is something we all experience.

But constant negative thinking can lead you to feel debilitated because it eats away at your self-esteem, your resilience and self-confidence. Negative thinking can cause you to become anxious, can lead to depression and other mood-related problems. In some cases, debilitating negative thoughts can be a sign of a mood or mental health issue that needs attention.

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Automatic negative thinking is persistent negative thoughts that appear immediately, without you being aware of even forming the thoughts. This is why you can feel like you have no control over them.

Thinking Man on Couch

Did you know?

Your negative thinking pattern is unique to you and will often be associated with experiences from the past and your expectations of the future. This means that the solution to negative thinking needs to be designed specifically for you.

Here are some behaviours to look out for in yourself or others:

Not getting things done

Over relying on alchohol and sedatives.

Spending less time outside

Social withdrawal

Unable to concentrate

Not feeling joy or enjoying normal activities

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For expats in a foreign country feeling overwhelmed by negative thoughts poses difficulties because it’s easy to feel isolated and alone when you’re overseas.

 

Expat networks are small and often work-related, making it difficult to be vulnerable with friends and colleagues. Gossip is always a factor that expats tend to worry about.

 

In fact, given that most expats go overseas for employment, this sort of anxiety poses a real problem.

If you are struggling with automatic negative thoughts then complete the quick, easy and confidential checklist below.

Resources

How much do I believe my negative thoughts?

AUTOMATIC NEGATIVE THOUGHTS CHECKLIST

This quick checklist presents a set of thoughts that can pop into people’s heads. There are 15 statements that represent common negative thoughts that people tend to think. You are asked to indicate how strongly you BELIEVE each thought – for example, ‘not at all’ or ‘totally.

Most therapy is trying to help you find the ‘witness chair’ inside your mind, so you can watch your thoughts and feelings and not feel so enmeshed with them. Your ability to detach from depressive thoughts decreases the control those negative thoughts have over you.

By completing the questionnaire, you can determine how enmeshed you are with your negativity, and therefore how urgent it is that you seek support and assistance to make the inside of your mind an easier and kinder place to be.

The Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire – Believability (ATQ-B) is used by doctors, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to determine what kind and the intensity of the support you need to overcome negative thinking.

Not at all  -  Did not apply to me at all over the past two weeks.

Somewhat  -  Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time in the past week.

ModeratelyIn a moderate manner.

Very much  -  Applied to me a considerable degree or a good part of the time.

Totally  -  Applied to me very much, or most of the time.

This quiz and your results do not replace the advice of a medical doctor. This checklist does not diagnose you with anxiety or depression. Instead, it helps you decide whether you need to seek help. To receive a clinical diagnosis, please see a clinical mental health professional and follow their advice.

Please avoid completing this test for someone else. You won’t be able to accurately decide on that person’s negative thinking if you complete the test yourself on their behalf.

Taking this test is completely confidential. We don’t record results and we can’t trace results back to individuals. We do retain information on the number of visitors who complete the test and what range of distress they had. This helps us to develop new programs and online tools in the future.

Reference: Netemeyer, R. G., Williamson, D. A., Burton, S., Biswas, D., Jindal, S., Landreth, S., Mills, G., & Primeaux, S. (2002). Psychometric properties of shortened versions of the automatic thoughts questionnaire. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 62(1), 111–129. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013164402062001008

Negative Thinking Resources

TIPS FOR MANAGING DEPRESSION

Click here to browse our tips for managing depression

USEFUL APPS FOR DEPRESSION

Click here to browse our tips for managing depression

RESOURCES FOR DEPRESSION

Click here to browse our tips for managing depression

Depression Resources

Negative Thinking Articles

*This checklist and your results do not replace the services of a medical doctor. This checklist does not diagnose you with depression. But it helps you decide whether you need to seek help. To receive a clinical diagnosis of depression, please see a mental health professional and follow their advice.

Please avoid completing this test for someone else. You won’t be able to accurately decide on that person’s depression if you complete the test yourself on their behalf.

Taking this test is completely confidential. We don’t record results and we can’t trace results back to individuals. We do retain information on the number of visitors who complete the test and what range of distress they had. This helps us to develop new programs and online tools in the future.

Reference: Drs. Robert L. Spitzer, Janet B.W. Williams, Kurt Kroenke and colleagues.

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