Birthdays Don't Have To Be Depressing

November 17, 2013 Liana M. Scott

Birthdays don't have to be depressing, do they? I celebrated my 49th birthday this past week and while I enjoyed a plethora of happy birthday wishes, I also dealt with an unexpected drop in my mood. It may be perfectly normal to be introspective around your birthday, to examine your life and consider your future options, but when those thoughts become repetitive and persistent, that's when you have to do something to break the cycle. (Depression Fuels Itself Through Negative Thoughts)

Depression: Not A Birthday Present I Want

Do you ever get depressed on your birthday? As I was celebrating, the negative thoughts and depression crept in. Here's how I handled it. I love my birthday, always have. It's one of my absolutely favorite days of the year. I'm not one of those women who lies about her age and have never worried about how much of my life has passed. It has never been a sad day, never. Heck, I celebrate the entire month. I even coined the phrase, Happy Birthmonth!

This year, something changed. For some reason, I found myself extremely distracted by my age (you're forty...nine. Fortyyyy.... niiiiine.) and the fact that I was beginning the 50th year of my life.

"I'm in my 50th year and my life is so small."

"My life is more than half over."

"With my luck, I'll live to be as old as Mom and be in constant pain, like she is."

"I could die any day now."

These negative thoughts kept going through my mind, over and over, and they really started to upset me. My favorite day of the year, my birthday, had the potential to really depress me. And we all know what happens when a depression trigger sneaks up on you. I was keenly aware of how distracted I was and how often these negative thoughts reverberated through my mind.

Let's face it, it's not as easy as just saying stop having negative thoughts. If it were that easy, depression would be a thing of the past. We have to make a concerted effort to change our thinking and it can be very hard work.

The thoughts persisted, getting darker and I knew I had to do something.

Turn Negative Thoughts Into Positive Thoughts

"I'm in my 50th year and my life is so small."
"I've live 49 wonderful years so far. My life is very full. I have an amazing husband, three beautiful children, great parents and siblings and wonderful friends."

"My life is more than half over."
"At this point in my life, I have confidence, wisdom and patience that only age can provide."

"With my luck, I'll live to be as old as Mom and be in constant pain, like she is."
"If I'm lucky, I'll live as long as Mom and be able to enjoy my grandchildren as she has."

"What if I die tomorrow?"
"Live life to the fullest!"

As many times as the negative thoughts went through my head was as many times as I had to force myself to think positive thoughts. It eventually worked and I succeeded in turning my thoughts around and avoiding a depression dip.

Birthdays don't have to be depressing. We all have our own reasons why they could be but with self-awareness, focus and determination, we can turn negative thoughts into positive ones.

APA Reference
Scott, L. (2013, November 17). Birthdays Don't Have To Be Depressing, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Liana M. Scott

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March, 4 2014 at 2:15 pm

What a simplistic and assuming article! If we all had such positive things in our life that we could turn negative thoughts into positive ones, then we probably wouldn't be as depressed. The reality is, we don't all have those things to be thankful for. In such cases, seeking a therapist, finding a friend to talk to or perhaps seeking a more fulfilling career might up the ante a bit.

Omar Faith
November, 27 2013 at 5:53 pm

Awesome that you caught those Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTS) and squashed them before they could crawl all over you! Birthdays are too important to be ruined by those pests - they are a celebration of your life! Happy Birthday!

November, 20 2013 at 2:39 pm

I feel you on the whole bday thing and iam glad you were able to change your mind set
Happy birthday.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Liana Scott
November, 21 2013 at 4:01 am

Hi Sharn. Thanks :-)

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