Psychiatrist Questions Depression

Is negative thinking a disease?

I am slowly turning into a very negative person and I seem to have negative thoughts running on my mind for almost no reason. Am I suffering from a disease or is it just a phase? I am worried, can this push me towards depression?

15 Answers

Negative thinking can lead to depression and anxiety. You van change your thought process by cognitive behavioral therapy. You seem to have good insight since you are able to identify the fact. Tripple column tech is a good treatment module of CBT which help you to change your negative cognition to positive by reflecting on your situation, emotions generated by the situation and negative thoughts arising from the two and then replacing that negative thought with positive by reflecting on positive experiences of your life.
Sorry this took so long to get back to you.
Negative thinking by itself is not a disease, although it is not healthy for you and can put you at risk for other diseases, even a shorter lifespan!  However, it can definitely push you towards depression, or be a an early sign of depression, especially if it is not your normal way of thinking. One of the treatments for depression we have is teaching people positive thinking habits such as looking at a glass as half full rather than half empty, i.e., concentrate on what you have rather than on what you have lost. The disease of depression is a constellation of symptoms that include other things than negative thinking, such as changes in mood (sad feelings,) or ability to enjoy things (not able to have fun anymore or a tendency to socially isolate yourself,) or changes in sleeping or eating patterns, or self-esteem getting low, or thoughts that life isn't worth living, or not being about to concentrate, make decisions, or remember things. It is often accompanied by increased worrying, although not always. If other things are changing for the worse besides your negative thinking, it is probably worth a trip to your primary care provider to get checked out for depression. 
Jennifer Nagode, M.D., Ph.D. 
Negativity is not a disease. However, it is a major system of depression. Several other symptoms are necessary to make a diagnosis and consider therapeutic intervention.
Given that you are noticing a change, this could be a symptom of depression, which doesn't require a trigger.
However there could be other explanations. I would suggest you speak to your regular doctor who can do some screening and refer you to appropriate professionals (psychologist, psychiatrist or others) indicated.
Your doctor should also check for obvious medical causes such as thyroid disease, nutrition or even cancers according to your demographics or risk factors. Regardless of the etiology, there is a lot of wonderful positive mindedness research to show its benefits in all aspects of health, mental & physical, and in coping with daily life stressors. You can work on this on your own, not to discourage psychotherapy. NY Times magazine had a special edition on mental wellness this summer and a lovely review of resilience and how anybody can learn positive mindedness, regardless of personality or traumas. You could easily google up a plethora of articles on this. Nevertheless, you should still go and discuss this with your primary doctor.
I wish you well,
Dr Lewis, MD Psychiatrist
Yes, could be a symptom of depression so get evaluated by a psychiatrist or other mental health professional.
I believe several scenarios could be occurring here. Negative thinking exists on a spectrum. You could just be extremely dissatisfied with one area of your life and the upset from that is seeping over onto all other aspects in your plane of existence. The cure for this might be in identifying what that major stressor or point causing the most significant irritation is, and resolving that, creating more balance and thus, freeing your mind of the constant negative thoughts. On the other hand, the negativity could be part of a psychiatric disorder called Dysthymic Depression, which is a chronic state of low level sadness. Someone with this disorder would have a very bleak outlook on life and that might feel subjectively like negativity. Usually someone with Dysthimic Disorder experiences bouts of sadness rather than purely negative thoughts. The treatments for this disorder lies in working with various allopathic and holistic practitioners. Your negativity would need to be accompanied by other symptoms to reach a diagnosis of a clinical Major Depressive Disorder.
Negative thinking can be a manifestation of depression by itself. I will encourage to change actively your thoughts towards positive. If it continues then seek out help for treatment.
It is easy to start thinking negatively when things go wrong. Often times, people will try to control situations by planning for the worst or thinking that they can prepare for disappointment by assuming that it will come. The problem is, the suffering and worry and sadness occur in the absence of any real triggers. The trigger for these feelings is the negative thoughts themselves. Learning to recognize these thoughts is one of the first steps in changing this cycle. There is a specific form of therapy called CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy that targets this process. There are many free CBT self-help resources on the web. Try searching for "unhelpful thinking styles" to learn more.
A major depressive episode or clinical depression is defined as a 2 week or more period of time in which a person's mood is sad with loss if interest or pleasure and several associated symptoms such as problems with appetite, sleep, excessive guilt, poor concentration, memory problems, feeling slowed down or restless, feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, helplessness, low self esteem, low energy, low motivation, and even suicidal thoughts. These symptoms impair a person's functioning at home, at work, or in social situations. If you are experiencing some or all of these symptoms, please contact your doctor's office for an evaluation.
Negative thinking is not specifically a disease, but is often a component of some mood disorders like depression or obsessive compulsive disorder. Your awareness of the negative thoughts is a great first step towards feeling better - CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy can be very effective to address and squash negative thoughts and general negative thinking. You may also want to consider why you feel so negative, if there are any stressors that can be easily modified such that you will feel more
It may be a symptom of depression but it can also be a habit, or a part of
you. Try learning about meditation; also this book : "Freedom from your
Inner critic:" by Jay Earley. PhD nd. "The Happiness Trap". by Russ Harris
The short answer to your question is: No, negative thinking is not a disease.
The longer answer would need to take into account what exactly do you mean by negative thinking. Often times, negative thoughts may emerge in response to certain situations or events, or even certain people, and many times, the explanation for those thoughts may not be apparent or obvious to someone who is having such thoughts. There may be other times when negative thinking can be an early harbinger of illness or a symptom of an illness already present. It typically takes a trained professional to know when such thoughts are related to situations and when they become symptoms of something else. The question to consider asking yourself would be: Do these negative thoughts in any way impact or interfere with your social, occupational, or work life? If the answer is "yes", you may want to consider getting a consultation with a trained professional who can evaluate your concerns and ask further questions which would then point you toward the correct answer, as well as offering recommendations to remedy, resolve, or manage these negative thoughts effectively. Best of luck in your quest.

Dr. Nelson
Negative thinking is a sign or a symptom.Your general health should be your first concern. LMD assessment is called for. If a clean bill is given then the twin duo of anxiety and depression need to be looked for via mental health assessment (psychiatry,psychology,social work) team. Depression often has negative thinking as an early sign. Negative rumination (obsessional) is beyond sign but is a symptom of depressive illness. Remember start with a general health assessment.
The nature of the mind is to churn out thoughts. The average person runs 5,000 random thoughts per day, 35,000 per week, 1,825,000 per year. The faster the mind moves the more anxious and stressed a person is. Very rarely is this a disease. Neurotransmitters can be involved (dopamine, norepinenephrine and/or serotonin), along with GABA (our most calming neurotransmitter). Low grade inflammation is often an issue. In situations like this I usually combine physical with mental treatments. (meditation, use of the breath, mental imagery). I've spent a career trying to figure out what the mind is. Oh, hmm I forgot something. I wrote a book for the POWs of Operation Desert Storm, and re-wrote it last year. It was part of military training for army and navy in Operation Desert Storm. The POW Survival Guide will be re-named and briefly re-written. The military is no longer interested in this information. It's on Amazon. It is high on technique, low on theory, and the most important thing it teaches is how to establish "Mental Home Base," a place you can return to internally over and over again, instead of constantly churning out thoughts. Most thoughts, by the way, are pretty neutral, even if a person is feeling negative. Affirmations are useful, but not as important as mantra meditation, and regular exercise is important.
Negative thinking pattern could be either the cause or the part of many illness both mental and physical illnesses. Negative thoughts can be corrected by using some simple cognitive behavioral techniques, mindfulness, and both mental and physical exercises. You should be seeing a therapist to learn and practice those skills as they could lead to not only depression and anxiety but myriad of other behavioral problems. Also there are many self help books available in book stores.