COGNITIVE DISTORTIONS: The Ten Forms Of Self Defeating Thoughts

I thought I would share a bit some information that I have found to be very helping in the process of increasing self-awareness, which is critical during recovery from an eating disorder. I’d love to know if any of you can identify with these, and how you have replaced them with healthy and more rational ways of thinking…..

1) All or nothing-thinking (Black/White thinking)
When you see every situation as all or nothing. If a situation falls short of perfect, you see it as a total failure.

2) Overgeneralization
You see a single example of rejection or error as a never ending pattern of defeat; using words such as “always” or “never” when you think about it.

3) Mental Filter
When you pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively, until your reality becomes darkened, like the drop of ink that discolors a beaker of water.

4) Discounting the positive
You may reject positive experiences by insisting that they ‘don’t count’. If you do a good job, you can’t accept that it’s good enough, and you discount it’s value.

5) Jumping to conclusions
You interpret things negatively when there are no facts to support your conclusion.
a)Mind Reading; making conclusions without checking
out the facts.
b)Fortune Telling; predicting that things will turn
out badly.

6) Magnification (Mountains & Mole Hills)
When you exaggerate the importance of yoru problems and shortcomings, or you minimize the importance of your desirable qualities. May also be referred to as the
“Binocular trick”.

7) Emotional reasoning
When you assume that your negative emotions are reflective of the way things really are. Such as “I feel guilty; I must be a terrible person.”

8) “Should statements”
You tell yourself that things should be the way you hoped or expected them to be. “should” statements that are directed against yourself lead to guilt and frustration. If they are directed against other people or the world in general, this can lead to anger and frustration.

9) Labeling
This is an extreme form of all-or-nothing thinking. Instead of stating, “I made a mistake”, you may say, “I’m a loser”. Or you may label yourself as a “failure”, a “jerk”, etc. This may extend to others as well. You seem them as totally bad.

10) Personalization and blame
When you feel responsible for everything bad or wrong that happens in your world, or even in the world of those around you. However, you don’t take credit for the good things that may happen.

I hope you find this information helpful!

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