Have you ever had a “dark” thought cross your mind that you just couldn’t shake no matter how hard you tried?
Thoughts like, “Everyone will leave me” or “People are better off without me” can be common when you’re struggling with your mental health. If you’ve ever had thoughts like these, you’re not alone.
The only way we can normalize experiencing these kinds of thoughts is to talk about them. That’s why we asked members of our mental health community to share a “dark” thought they live with. You can read what they said below.
It’s important to know “dark” thoughts are not facts or actions. You don’t have to feel ashamed for having these thoughts, but it’s OK if you do feel that way. Before we begin, we wanted to remind you some of the thoughts might be hard to read. If you’re struggling, it’s more than OK to stop reading and take care of yourself. If you need support, you can always post a Thought or Question on The Mighty with the hashtag #CheckInWithMe. You don’t have to deal with these “dark” thoughts by yourself.
Here’s what our community members shared with us:
1. ‘I’m failing at everything.’
“‘I’m failing at everything and have been my entire life. Eventually, my failures are going to be irreparable.'” — Kyran L.
2. ‘I have no purpose.’
“‘I have no purpose in this life. Everyone has careers and I can’t work.'” — Katherine C.
“I feel super discouraged and I don’t know what my purpose is or if I even have one. Even though I do have a job, I also have a learning disability so I find certain things harder like going to college… I want to be able to have a career and make something of myself, but it’s so hard. I have all this depression and anxiety in me and I miss out on so much because of it.” — Robin W.
3. ‘They’ll never care about you in the same way you care about them.’
“Any time I’m having a good time with my friends, there’s a little intrusive voice whispering in my head, ‘They’ll never care about you the way you do for them. They’ll eventually find someone better to spend their time with, and they’ll forget you. It’s not worth it.’ Those thoughts have kept me from spending more time with people I actually care about, and I really hate it.” — Jacinta M.
Related: 11 ‘Hidden’ Signs of Coercive Control
4. ‘My life is going to end at any moment.’
“The one intrusive thought is that my life is going to be over any moment. As I’ve gotten older it kind of matters last because it could be true, but it’s still extremely annoying and interfering. When I was younger though that was just devastating. So I never really tried to do anything, but I feel that it’s just another way of my automatic negative thoughts saying I can’t do anything.” — Eve C.
5. ‘Everyone will leave me.’
“My BPD thoughts always tell me everyone I love hates me and they will leave me. I think often that I need to stay completely isolated so I don’t bother anyone. I’ve lost every single friend I’ve ever cared about and now I’m terrified of caring about anyone.” — Courtney M.
“I’m constantly hypervigilant because of my history with mental illness and trauma, and as a result, I’m continuously making up stories in my head that center around why people are lying to me and going to abandon me — down to every last detail. It’s constant paranoia and I wish there was a way to explain it to people without them taking it personally or feeling hurt by it.” — Harley A.
6. ‘My loved ones will die.’
“Almost every day I have intrusive thoughts about my loved ones dying… and the extreme and improbable ways that could happen.” — Tess S.
“That one of my family members is going to die soon. It’s almost unbearable some days. I know we all are going to die someday, but this thought makes me feel so sad and frustrated. It hurts a lot.” — Laura M.
7. ‘I’m not going to get better.’
“Maybe I’ve never felt comfortable in myself or this life because I wasn’t really meant to be here. Maybe it’s impossible for me to ‘get better.'” — Julia F.
8. ‘I’m not worth it.’
“‘I am not worth it!’ It keeps me from being happy and present around people.” — Dawn L.
9. ‘I’m a terrible parent.’
“‘I’m a terrible mother because I can’t be all the things.’ Like, tiny example: I’ll be too exhausted to do nightly check-ins on my kids, which they tend to expect, and it’ll eat at me. ‘What if my kid really needed me tonight?’ But, thankfully, now I have tools to stop it and I’ll remind myself an exhausted mommy is not a great mommy, my kids know I’m doing my best and I let the negativity go.” — Tricia C.
10. ‘I’m not good enough.’
“‘I am not good enough for my incredible wife who does nothing but support and protect me.'” — Mary-Galgo N.
“‘I’ll never be good enough.’ It feels like I just can’t succeed and accomplish anything I want to do with my life. I’m so weighed down by negativity I don’t even know which way is up anymore.” — Tonya L.
“‘I am not enough, and I never can be. I fail at everything I try. I’m a terrible mother, an unlovable wife and I will never amount to anything more. I’m a burden to those around me, and I don’t deserve the love I need so desperately. I will never measure up.'” — Tamara J.
11. ‘No one will ever love me.’
“‘No one will ever love me because I am too weird. No one is actually my friend. They just put up with me. I am too much and not enough at the same time.'” — Jessica T.
“That no one will want a relationship with me. I have borderline personality disorder and depression. It makes me feel empty and alone.” — Dee V.
12. ‘I’ll never be able to support myself financially.’
“‘I’ll never find a full-time job where I can make more money and build a life for my boyfriend and I. As much as I want to, I’ll never have the courage to step out of my comfort zone. No one wants to hire me and I’ll be stuck in my redundant dead-end customer service job forever.’ It’s debilitating because I hate my job and I desperately want something better but I face rejection after rejection and it constantly drains my confidence and my hope of us moving away and starting a new life together.” — Jessa P.
13. ‘Everyone hates me.’
“I constantly think everyone hates me. It comes out of nowhere and all of a sudden I feel hated by everyone and I instantly burst into tears then everyone asks me if I’m OK and I’ll say, ‘Yeah’ and then they’re like, ‘What’s wrong?’ and I tell them and then I get reassurance that not everyone hates me. I hate that I need reassurance to make it better and I won’t be one to ask for it.” — Kristen S.
“‘No one actually likes you, they tolerate you. You contribute nothing, you’re a burden to everyone around you.'” — Ashley M.
14. ‘I’m not meant to be happy.’
“I’m not meant to be happy or have hope and that life was not meant to be good to/for me. It is a pattern that has actually proven itself. And each time life falls apart, I end up in my shutdown overwhelmed phase.” — Madi N.
15. ‘They are better off without me.’
“‘My family would be better off without me.’ It makes me feel awful and scared. I have to ignore that voice and sometimes she gets loud. I hate feeling like that.” — Gretchen D.
16. ‘I’m a monster.’
“After spending years trying to be nothing like them, the most intrusive thought is ‘I’m a monster just like my abusers.'” — Eve T.
“‘I’m a horrible person and everyone is lying to me when they say otherwise.'” — Jacinta D.
17. ‘I’m an imposter.’
“‘I’m some sort of imposter and have replaced the capable person whose life I’m living.’ That’s why I struggle — because I’m living someone else’s life and I don’t have the skills to do what I’m supposed to be doing.” — Erin P.
18. ‘I want to die.’
“I feel like I want to end things even when everything is going right.” — Kristie B.
If you experience similar “dark” thoughts, we hope you feel less alone. If you’re looking for help on managing dark or intrusive thoughts, head here. If things get tough on your journey to overcoming “dark” thoughts, you can always reach out to The Mighty community by posting a Thought or Question using the hashtag #CheckInWithMe. You are more than these thoughts.