Impaired control in addiction involves cognitive distortions and unreliable self-control, not compulsive desires and overwhelmed self-control

Impaired control in addiction involves cognitive distortions and unreliable self-control, not compulsive desires and overwhelmed self-control
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Jumping to conclusions or “mind-reading” is often in response to a persistent thought or concern of yours. If you do well in that job interview, you think it’s because they didn’t realize you’re not that good. Overgeneralization can also manifest in your thoughts about the world and its events.

What are the three most common elements of addictive thinking?

The three major elements of addictive thinking: denial, rationalization, and projection must be dealt with at every stage of addiction.

Personalization leads you to believe that you’re responsible for events that, in reality, are completely or partially out of your control. When you engage in polarized thinking, everything is in “either/or” categories. This might make you miss the complexity of most people and situations. But today, you didn’t have time to prepare a meal, so you eat a bacon burger. This immediately leads you to conclude that you’ve ruined your healthy eating routine, so you decide to no longer even try.

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It’s not helpful to obsess over what you “should” be able to do. These “oughta” feelings are often rooted in one’s childhood or family structure; they reduce self-esteem and raise anxiety. The move away from personalization is essential to a productive recovery. If you feel insulted by everyday occurrences, Top 5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing Sober House you may turn to substance use as self-medication. However, by realizing not everything is about you, it may help you regulate your negative perceptions. When you form a conclusion about something or someone before having all the facts or allowing another to respond, you are jumping to conclusions.

What is one example of a thinking error?

Are you constantly dismissing good things, compliments you receive or positive things people say? With this thinking error, you are discounting the good, while looking for a negative message or ulterior motive.

While it takes time, with the right guidance and support, many can move away from these self-destructive patterns. Both relate to being in control of every situation in someone’s life. In one, we feel externally controlled and see ourselves as helpless victims of fate. In the other one, we feel internal control assuming responsibility for the pain or joy of everyone around us. These people will take the negative details of a situation and magnifies those while mental-filtering out any positive aspects. For example, they’ll only point out the negative aspects of someone and entirely disqualify the positive.

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Some of us are raised in situations that promote these distortions; for example, if your parent was an alcoholic, you may have felt the need to predict their reactions before they happened. It is our thoughts that drive our feelings, which influence behavior. If we are not aware of our internal thought processes, it can be very difficult to manage our unconscious behavior that might drive us to pick up alcohol or drugs. Paying attention to our thinking can be a challenging task, but learning to recognize and manage our thinking patterns is critical to the success of staying sober long term. If you believe you might be struggling with negative thinking patterns in your recovery journey, do not hesitate to reach out if you’re reading this.

  • Both should be considered primary treatment needs because of the intricate link between the two.
  • Of course, we will still have negative thoughts about ourselves, other people and the world around us.
  • During this time, he developed two pilot addiction programs in the Greater West Tennessee area.
  • This is where examining whether the thought is worth investing in or setting aside can be of great assistance.
  • When you occupy your mind with how others “should” behave or how your life “should” be, then you are ignoring all of the possibilities to improve your situation.

It won every time, humiliating us, isolating us, judging us, shaming us and even dehumanising us. They feared our every move as they witnessed addiction overwhelm our lives and dictate everything we said and did. In active addiction, our thinking will have led us down a dark and destructive path. Our best thinking may have landed us in rehab, homeless, friendless, moneyless, or in the rooms of a support group.

Jumping to Conclusions or Mind-reading

You can’t change other people, and that’s okay— that’s how it should be. When you believe you are always right, and being wrong is inconceivable, you have this distortion. This typically presents by the person always “proving” that they are correct.

thinking errors in addiction

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