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Feeling worthless

3-minute read

It can be easy to focus on the negative aspects of your life, rather than the positive ones.

This can make you feel that everything is wrong, and that there is nothing good in your life. You may find you have feelings of worthlessness or guilt, or that you feel useless and ‘beyond help’.

If you are experiencing any of these feelings, see your doctor for advice.

While arranging that, here are some things you can try yourself.

  • Imagine you are helping a friend — think how you would advise a friend if they had negative thoughts about themselves. You would probably find all their good points and remind them about those, so why not try that on yourself.
  • Make a list of your good points — write down your 3 best features (these might be physical characteristics — for example, that you have a nice smile — or they could be things about your character — for example, that you’re friendly). You could ask a friend or family member to help you with this. Carry the list with you and look at it whenever you feel negative to remind yourself of your good points.
  • Turn negatives into positives — make a list of the main negatives in your life and work through these one by one. If you find you are blaming yourself for everything, try re-thinking each issue to see if there could be an alternative explanation. Then, try to work out what you can do to create some positive outcomes for each of your issues. You may want to ask someone you trust, like a friend or family member, to help you with this.
  • Remember happy times — think about times when you’ve had fun and enjoyed yourself in the past. Use these memories to help you plan a similar event for the future so you have something to look forward to.

To help you feel more in control, make sure you get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, cut down on alcohol and exercise regularly.

Where to get help

If you need help, talking to your doctor is a good place to start. If you’d like to find out more or talk to someone else, here are some organisations that can help:

  • MindSpot (anyone suffering from anxiety or depression) — call 1800 61 44 34.
  • Beyond Blue (anyone feeling depressed or anxious) — call 1300 22 4636 or chat online.
  • Black Dog Institute (people affected by depression and extreme mood swings) — online help.
  • Lifeline (anyone experiencing a crisis or thinking about suicide) — call 13 11 14 or chat online.
  • Suicide Call Back Service (anyone thinking about suicide) — call 1300 659 467.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: September 2019

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