Can I change my feeling of being worthless to everyone?

I'm going through some things with my feelings and myself. I barely sleep and I do nothing but think about how I'm worthless and ow I shouldn't be here.

I've never tried or contemplated suicide. I've always wanted to fix my issues, but I never get around to it.

How can I change my feeling of being worthless to everyone?

Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

If everyone thinks you're worthless, then maybe you need to find new people to hang out with.

Seriously, the social context in which a person lives is a big influence in self-esteem.

Otherwise, you can go round and round trying to understand why you're not worthless, then go back to the same crowd and be knocked down again.

There are many inspirational messages you can find in social media.  Maybe read some of the ones which state that no person is worthless, and that everyone has a good purpose to their life.

Also, since our culture is so saturated with the belief that if someone doesn't feel good about themselves that this is somehow terrible.

Bad feelings are part of living.  They are the motivation to remove ourselves from situations and relationships which do us more harm than good.

Bad feelings do feel terrible.   Your feeling of worthlessness may be good in the sense of motivating you to find out that you are much better than your feelings today.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Robin Landwehr, DBH, LPCC, NCC
Robin Landwehr, DBH, LPCC, NCC
Mental Health in a Primary Care Setting

Hello, and thank you for your question and seeking advice on this. Feelings of worthlessness is unfortunately common. In fact, most people, if not all, have felt this to some degree at some point in their life. You are not alone. 

Changing our feelings is like changing our thoughts - it's hard to do. Our minds are so amazing that the minute you change your thought another one can be right there to take it's place. Without your permission, another thought can just pop in there. The new thought may feel worse than the last one! My guess is that you have tried several things to improve this on your own even before reaching out on here. People often try thinking positive thoughts, debating with their thoughts, or simply telling themselves that they need to "snap out of it" - which is also a thought that carries some self-criticism. 

Some people try a different approach, and there are counselors out there that can help you with this. The idea is that instead of trying to change the thoughts, you change how you respond to them. You learn skills that allow you to manage difficult thoughts and feelings differently so they don't have the same impact on you that they do right now. For some people, they actually DO begin to experience less hurtful thoughts once they learn how to manage the ones they have differently. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy may be a good choice for you. 

There is information online and even self-help books that you can use to teach you the skills that I mentioned. Because they are skills, they require practice, but many people have found great relief and an enriched life by learning them. 

As for suicidal thoughts, I am very glad to read that this has not happened to you. Still, you should watch out for this because it can be a sign of a worsening depression. If you begin to think about this, it is important to reach out to a support system right away. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. The text line is #741741. 

I hope some other colleagues will provide you more suggestions. 

Be well...

Robin Landwehr, DBH, LPCC

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Jeanette Razo-Gonzalez
Jeanette Razo-Gonzalez
Little Steps Giant Leaps

I'm glad you are interested in changing your feelings of worthlessness. Visiting your doctor is a great first step to address your lack of sleep. First, you want to make sure that you are physically healthy and that there isn't a physical condition causing your problem with sleep. 

Changing your feelings is something that is difficult to do, especially on your own. Make sure that you have someone you can trust and you can talk to about how you feel. This can be a friend or a family member. If you find that there isn't anyone you would feel comfortable talking to about this issue, find a therapist close to you who can help. 

One activity that people have found helpful in feeling better about themselves is keeping a gratitude journal. You can do this by journaling daily about the things that you are grateful for. There is no right or wrong way of doing this, as long as you focus your journal entries on the things you are grateful for in life.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Bill Leavitt
Bill Leavitt
Offering you help in dealing with Anxiety, Stress and Depression

You have several things going on here. The sleep should be addressed with a primary care physician to rule out any physical issues. Sleep is the big reset and allows us to function in the day. What happens during a depression is that our thoughts race and it is as though our “brain won’t shut off.” Medication can help with this. I also use a Pranayama yoga breathing technique called the four fold breath which has great usefulness for relaxing us  and often does work quite well with allowing us to sleep.. You can read about it here:    https://billleavitttherapy.com/breathing-techniques-the-four-fold-breath/

Your thoughts on feeling worthless to everyone fall under a heading of thinking error in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) known as overgeneralization. In CBT thoughts lead to emotions, so we are going to pick the statement apart and then reframe it.

First list the evidence that contradicts the thought. Has anyone in the past made positive comments toward you? This might be hard to recall if we are in a rut, but at some point in life we frequently have had some positives expressed towards us by others.  “Everyone” is an absolute. The specifics on why you are thinking this need to be addressed. How are you arriving at this conclusion? There may be specific people that we want more validation from. Or specific people might have made offhand hurtful comments, (such as a family member, teacher or co-worker) but if I extrapolate that to a global and think that everyone thinks I am worthless, that thought is not rooted in facts. 

What are the Pros and Cons of thinking this way? What are the Benefits and Costs? There are very little pros or benefits to thinking this way. It’s just going to continue to tear you down and make you feel bad. So can we reframe the thought about the situation? Is there another way of looking at the situation? Again, we need the specifics on how you are arriving at this conclusion, and a one on one therapist can definitely help you with this, but the thinking that you are using to arrive at the conclusion needs to be re-cast into a more helpful mindset.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Amelia Mora Mars
Amelia Mora Mars
Hi, I'm Amelia. I help overwhelmed, stressed out teen girls and women find peace again.

Hello, you sound like you have so much on your mind! I am relieved to hear that you have never tried or have contemplated suicide, but not being able to sleep, feeling worthless, and like you shouldn't be here are big issues that need addressing.

Please get around to counseling.  Having someone to listen to you is a gift to yourself. You deserve the help of someone helping you change your feelings of worthlessness. You have not been able to do this alone. It's time to reach out for help.  You can do this! Best to you!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

It sounds like you are having some pretty severe depression. Depression can cause insomnia, and make a person focus on their own perceptions that they are "worthless". It is important to remember that other people may not truly perceive you as worthless. This is the depression talking.  I think that it is extremely important when you are this depressed, to sit down and write down some positives about yourself. What are your strengths? What are some positive things that your have done in your life? It concerns me that you are having suicidal thoughts. It sounds like now is the time to act on the idea of getting some help for yourself. If you feel like you might actually take your life, I would recommend that you go to a hospital emergency room, or a mental health crisis clinic right away to get some help. The most important thing right now is to keep yourself safe. If you are feeling like you are not going to hurt yourself despite your suicidal thoughts, I would recommend that you focus on finding a therapist as soon as possible. I don't know what your situation is in terms of insurance. The back of your insurance card should inform you how to obtain mental health services. There are also low cost services available with such places as Catholic Charities, and others. Your local county mental health agency should be able to refer you to some appropriate places. Good luck. Remember to identify your strengths, and the good things about yourself.  Marie

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Adriana Dyurich
Adriana Dyurich
COUNSELING, WELLNESS, AND CONSULTING for for Moms, moms to be and their children

You can, for sure... and the first step is to believe you are worthy TO YOURSELF. Recognizing you are in a quest is already a big first step. Taking the time to start figuring out who you are is definitely the next... do so with SELF COMPASSION and kindness. Know this is a process and just look forward for what you might find.  I do recommend you find someone to talk to (there are many options out there that can fit the situation you are in), and I also recommend you start by giving yourself the importance to invest some time and effort in this quest. YOU DESERVE IT. There are some excellent TED Talks you can google, great books you can read, or even joining a yoga practice, team or some kind of hobby may help. Anything that shows yourself you are worthy of this effort. Have patience and start!!!! the answer is out there waiting for you. Asking these questions already set you on the right path.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Heather Bradley
Heather Bradley
Helping you heal from trauma and live meaningful lives

Oftentimes we can change our feelings about ourselves by building a better relationship with ourself.  It sounds like there is a very critical aspect of your self that is alive and taking over.  Sometimes when we are stuck it is because a part of ourselves, a way that perhaps we learned to cope with difficult situations earlier in our lives, has decided to run the show.  Like a highly critical part that may actually be desperately attempting to protect us from a past hurt.

 Slowing down and even forming a relationship with this critical internal part will help you get some space from it.  When we can begin to observe parts of ourselves, be curious about them, get to know them like a new friend, then we have room for other ways of being.  Beginning therapy could be a great way to change this feeling of worthlessness.  Beginning to build a better relationship and understanding of yourself will deeply influence the relationships around you.  This first step may feel hard, to reach out to someone, and it could be the beginning step to a path of radically shifting your relationship with yourself and others in your life.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Grace Brooks
Grace Brooks
Caring, Kind and Experienced

Feelings of worthlessness often originate  from what you learned about yourself when you were young. Improving your self esteem needs focus on that original message from parents, teachers or siblings that may be suppressed.  Most of us need help to uncover the "lie" because you were born valuable!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

The feeling of being worthless is caused by your inside being not matching your outside result. Your comparison to others and you thinking you need to be someone other than who you are. You are not worthless. No one is worthless. You need to find your worth and not let yourself talk yourself out of the good you find in yourself. I hope these words resonate with you and that you start looking for your worth even if it’s as simple as I am able to get out of bed and call someone and make a joke. 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Minal Nebhnani
Minal Nebhnani
Discover Your Best Self!

Hi there, I'm sorry you're feeling this way. Let me see if I can guide you in the right direction. Often when I talk to my clients about feelings of worthlessness we start with a little bit of self-exploration. We start with noticing. Start to notice when these feelings come up for you. Is there a particular time of day, a specific person who brings it out, a phrase you hear? Just start to notice. Usually it's tied to something but it may take a while to figure out what that something/someone is. Try to be patient.

Next we start to explore. When did these feelings start? Where do you think they come from? Is there something - a statement - perhaps that repeats in your head over and over again? If so, whose voice is it? These are difficult questions, and just a few of them, so take your time answering them. (We usually do it over a few sessions.) It might even be helpful to write them down somewhere. If you have a journal that would be a great place as research has shown that our brain works differently when we put pen to paper versus typing on a computer.

Now comes the good news. Our brains are able to rewire themselves. This allows us to change habits we don't want as well as statements we say to ourselves that are no longer serving us.

The next step is to select an ally. Someone who is or has been in your corner, someone who is always rooting for you. If you don't have someone like that, that's ok - a lot of us don't - you can just make someone up. Close your eyes and try to describe that person in great detail from the way they look to the way they act to the way they sound. Now, pick a phrase you would like that person to say to you whenever you start to think that you're worthless. Something that will help you feel better about yourself - a characteristic, a skill, a great joke you tell, a physical attribute. This also takes time and may involve you asking for help from someone who knows you.

Once you have all of that together - the noticing, answers from where these feelings and statement(s) come from, your ally, your new statement, you can try to put it altogether. When the feelings come up, notice what is bringing them up and then call upon your ally to try to change the statement in your head from the self-defeating one to the more positive, uplifting one.

I hope this was helpful. Again, I do this with my clients over quite a few weeks, if not months, and I am there with them the whole time. It is quite an involved process and can bring up a lot of very difficult feeling/memories. If at any point you find it too hard to go at alone, please seek help. If you take anything away from this reply, know that there is help out there and that it is possible to change the way you feel.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Carmy Howard, LMHC, DCC
Carmy Howard, LMHC, DCC
Change is possible one session at a time

I am sorry you are feeling this way.  We all have narratives that we say to ourselves whether it is valid or not.  In your case it would be beneficial to explore when and how this belief began and rewrite your story.  There are different ways to explore and rewrite.  This process requires commitment, self-reflection and courage.  

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Jordan White
Jordan White
Licensed Social Worker at Oak Roots Dynamic

I first want to let you know that you are not alone in your feelings and there is always someone there to help. You can always change your feelings and change your way of thinking by being open to trying to change. You can always make yourself available to learning new things or volunteering so that you can make a purpose for yourself. 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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