Well I am not sure where to start... I have wanted to talk about my progress for a while and the forum to do it now exists. Strangely I am not sure exactly where to start. Furthermore... I think I need to read something along the title topic as much as than anyone else right now... so I figure I might as well type it. So after high school I found myself in multiple vicious cycles. Personally, loneliness, self hatred, and the underlying belief that I am not a likeable person became all consuming. It fueled my depression further. Problem is with those beliefs lead to actions that only reinforced them. If I am not likeable of course meeting new people isn't going to go well and I am not going to be likely to try. And if I don't meet new people of course I am going to be lonely... and of course if I am lonely it means I am unlikeable... which of course means meeting new people isn't going to go well... and so on and so forth. Written down it makes a lot of sense... in the moments and in the time it all seemed so freaking true, and I saw it simply as the way it is, and not something I had control over. This lead me to attempt to over compensate with my professional life. Which lead to its own messes... and a major screw up there lead me to a suicidal and anxiety breakdown that got me an involuntary hospitalization. That... was the "Holy shit" "Kick in the ass" moment or whatever you want to call it to realize... I need to give help a try. They gave me some resources which lead me to a clinic. Once there... it was a matter of opening myself up to the idea I might be wrong. That a lot of my beliefs about myself and the world weren't accurate. I thought that evidence to the contrary would be welcome jump up and down throw a party news. It wasn't... it was hard to accept. 1st and foremost let me disclaim something. I am NOT a therapist. I have no professional training in this. So if I type something wrong I am sorry. One of the things that has been huge for me was CBT, or Cognitive behavioral therapy. One of the basic things they teach is breaking down events into thoughts, behaviors and actions. If I knew how to make a triangle with arrows going between them each way I would... but that is going to take a lot more effort than I can exert right now. Anyway... the basic theroy is something happens which will cause us to jump to a thought. Something as simple as someone didn't return my smile. Some people might think the other person is having a trough day, didn't see them, or has their mind focused on something urgent and important. After that it goes to the emotion. If one thinks it has nothing to do with them, they probably will be emotion neutral, or maybe a tad concerned but it won't ruin there day or days. After that the emotions contribute to action, and in this case the person can go about what they were doing, and probably will be able to socialize in the future just fine. The flip side would be someone who has issues with themselves as I did. The lack of a smile can be interpreted as "That person hates me." The emotion will then be a lot of depression and sadness. And in that depression and sadness the person may withdrawal, not try to contact that person later, and something that simple has no harmed the relationship. Then the harm in that relationship causes them to think they are not likeable (thought), which leads to more sadness and depression (emotion), which leads to not interacting with others (action.) Which leads back to the beginning. I think the problem is clear. The difference in thoughts are driven by deeply held core beliefs. The 1st person believes he is likeable the 2nd believes he isn't.... and the 2nd find themselves in vicious cycles. Employing that thinking and trying to break down situations into those 3 things has done a lot to help though things short term. Being able to check the thoughts that instinctively come to me helps me minimize or change the emotions behind them. Or recognizing the thoughts that lead to breakdowns and other stupid stuff... allows me to stop that cycle. Furthermore, it has helped me dig down to the deeply held beliefs. I have been able to partially figure out where some of them came from. Childhood can be tough on a person... but an adult mind can look back and ask if those beliefs are accurate, and if stuff that happened then is worth living by now. So... take away from this what you well. That has been part of therapy. One thing I would like people to take away is the kick in the ass moment that got me to seek help. In short... I wish I wouldn't have waited for that to happen. I wish I could have swallowed my pride and my negative beliefs enough to seek it out myself, instead of waiting for a suicidal break down. Starting therapy has been one of the best things I have done in my life... and while I still have moments of near breakdowns they are more rare and I am responding to the big ones much better than I used to. Different people are going to take to different things... and if it takes years to develop things it will take time to replace them. So if it doesn't work right away seek out other things.