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Cognitive Traps


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#1 obsessedmuch

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 09:48 PM

Blinded: I feel what most takes up precious space in my mind ARE the trivial things, meaningless to other people, but so filled with meaning and symbolic or a consequence of failure in a part of my life that people can't comprehend why it gets down on me so much, I don't even comprehend it most of the time. I beat myself up emotionally most of the time (probably a form of SI) when I know I don't deserve it, but sometimes I do feel I deserve it, that's my insanity.

But I was told by my counsellor that I must be a strong person, to be achieving despite all the negativity of myself and my past situations. So I do definitely agree with you there..kinda makes you jealous though, the fact that you have to be strong and others do not, life just seems to come easier for other people. Not fair :p

But I find talking about it has definitely helped..locking stuff away is not good for the mind, body or soul.
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#2 dweeble

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Posted 26 March 2005 - 09:20 AM

Hey ados,

I was reading these and thinking I hope I find one that does'nt describe me!   :D

Looks like I have some work to do.  Thanks sheepwoman, I printed the list out and am going to keep my eye on it for awhile.

#3 Guest_I am Cat_*

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 03:18 PM

Very good thread Sheepy!  I'd say if I fall under any, what immediately comes to mind is Personalization and Blame #10.  Assuming the blame and taking the fault for it.  That's me!  It must have been MY fault that it happened... mostly for things that happened YEARS ago with my father, when I was a child.  Things that adults have trouble with, much less children... yet I assume the blame and take it on.... :(  It's quite distressing.

#4 ados

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 05:54 PM

Uh, I think I do ALL of these things!  Thanks for sharing, SW.  Now to figure out how to STOP doing them...  :)

Karen
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#5 Sheepwoman

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Posted 14 June 2005 - 10:21 AM

:hearts: to DF Lostinspace & Endymion,
Take one trap at a time and work on it until you feel confident in your change befor you start another. It is hard work but so beneficial. I keep reading these to keep from relapse. Hope they work for you both.
Sheepwoman :bump:

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God will give you no more than you can handle. This is all a test to see if you are really ready for the good things that are going to come your way. All this pain is going to come back and make me stronger.-Clarence Clemmons 1942-2011

Everything I know, I know because I love. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace

#6 Lindsay

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 10:33 AM

SW, It's a wonderful help to our members..Thank you so very much!   :;):

:hearts:

Be Well....

~Lindsay ღ , Forum Super Administrator
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"I cannot make my mark for all time...those concepts are mutually exclusive.
"Lasting effect" is a self -contradictory term.  Meaning does not exist in the future, nor do I.  
Nothing will have meaning, "ultimately."
Nothing will even mean tomorrow what it did today.  Meaning changes with the context.

  
My meaningfulness is in the here and now. It is enough that I may be of value to someone today.
It is enough that I make a difference now."  ~Lindsay    

    

  
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#7 Endymion

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Posted 14 June 2005 - 09:45 AM

At one time or another, I have all of these distorted ways of thinking. I'm big on "shoulds." I especially tend to think that people "shouldn't" act the way the do, or that things "should" be different. In reality, it's beyond my control how other people act and how things are. I can only control my reactions. Talk's cheap, though. It's easy for me to say that, but hard to really live it. Trying to change my ways of thinking takes time and commitment. Sigh.

I'm also really bad about comparing myself to other people. I'm constantly thinking that other people are better than I am in one way or another.
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#8 worrier

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 07:11 AM

I found a really good CBT doc in my area.  He brought up alot of things on the list.  Of course he accepts no insurance and wants $150.00 per weekly session

#9 Sheepwoman

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Posted 02 June 2005 - 11:01 AM

Worrier,
If you have insurance, pay the tdoc, get a receipt with diagnosis and bill your insurance requesting they pay you. You won't be paid in full for your visit but it will help defray some of the costs. I think the CBT will be well worth the expense if you can afford it.
Sheepwoman :hearts:

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God will give you no more than you can handle. This is all a test to see if you are really ready for the good things that are going to come your way. All this pain is going to come back and make me stronger.-Clarence Clemmons 1942-2011

Everything I know, I know because I love. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace

#10 lostinspace

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Posted 14 June 2005 - 06:29 AM

SW

I've fallen into the the traps from 1 - 8 from time to time and I keep falling into the 1, 2, 5,6 & 8 in recent times.  
All these negative traps are very mentally and physically draining.  Have a lot of work to do......  :hearts:

#11 worrier

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 10:45 AM

Thanks.  I copied the list and put the positive things on one side.  With luck that will work.  THank you.

#12 tinybit

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 06:36 AM

:hearts:i like this thread too. i can't believe i haven't been in here. i have most of the 10. i'll work on one at a time like you said sheepwoman. thank you.  :hearts:
me tiny

#13 ados

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 07:36 AM

SW,

I plan to copy this list so I can look at it regularly, and then I think I will try to come up with one counter-statement for each of these traps that applies to me.  I'll let you know if that helps.  Thanks for sharing and for being so willing to give support!  You are a special woman!

Karen
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#14 Guest__*

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Posted 30 March 2005 - 09:23 AM

Thanks for posting that list. I think I have done one or all of the items listed, though as of late I have been obsessing over #10. I actually feel responsible for world hunger . . . my reasoning is that I don't give enough money for food relief.

#15 Sheepwoman

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Posted 15 June 2005 - 11:05 AM

FMH,
Take a look at 7, 8 and 10. I think those fit your past experience with the gang rape. You were just a child then. You had no power to help yourself because of the huffing which DID leave you vulnerable. It was NOT your fault. You were victimized, You need to release any guilt over this experience. I don't think you encouraged the rape at all.
Sheepwoman :hearts:

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God will give you no more than you can handle. This is all a test to see if you are really ready for the good things that are going to come your way. All this pain is going to come back and make me stronger.-Clarence Clemmons 1942-2011

Everything I know, I know because I love. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace

#16 Sheepwoman

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 11:30 AM

Dweeble,
If you feel that you have fallen into these traps at one time or another, just take one at a time to change your thinking. It will give you a more positive outlook for yourself.

Mana K,
#10 is one of the largest hurdles to overcome. your reasoning about world hunger affects a lot of people and their giving attitude. How will you work on turning around your thoughts on #10 to a positive one?

To all members, thank you for your compliments. If any of you need help in accomplishing how to do or turn around your thinking, post here or send me a PM. I will be most happy to answer your questions or give you additional support.
Sheepwoman :hearts:

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God will give you no more than you can handle. This is all a test to see if you are really ready for the good things that are going to come your way. All this pain is going to come back and make me stronger.-Clarence Clemmons 1942-2011

Everything I know, I know because I love. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace

#17 Lindsay

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 10:38 PM

Hmmmm...Interesting.
Especially in my childhood, I never felt I was to blame......
I always felt the victim.

Be Well....

~Lindsay ღ , Forum Super Administrator
Founder, depressionforums.org


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----
"I cannot make my mark for all time...those concepts are mutually exclusive.
"Lasting effect" is a self -contradictory term.  Meaning does not exist in the future, nor do I.  
Nothing will have meaning, "ultimately."
Nothing will even mean tomorrow what it did today.  Meaning changes with the context.

  
My meaningfulness is in the here and now. It is enough that I may be of value to someone today.
It is enough that I make a difference now."  ~Lindsay    

    

  
Hotlines

kumanomi.gif


#18 Sheepwoman

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 08:40 PM

Ados, just work on one trap at a time until you feel comfortable with the change. Ask me if you get stuck.

Cat, I fell into that trap, too. What happened to me as a child I felt I was to blame. I know now that I wasn't and I was a victim instead. I had no control over the situation.

Sheepwoman :hearts:

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God will give you no more than you can handle. This is all a test to see if you are really ready for the good things that are going to come your way. All this pain is going to come back and make me stronger.-Clarence Clemmons 1942-2011

Everything I know, I know because I love. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace

#19 Sheepwoman

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 11:48 AM

These are cognitive traps that we all fall into on occasion. The traps are ways to promote negative thinking. It is your job to turn these traps around and promote a more positive way of thinking for yourself. It will improve your self esteem and also help you to help yourself.

              TEN COGNITIVE TRAPS

1. ALL OR NOTHING THINKING:  You see in black and white catagories. If a situation is anything less than perfect you see it as a total failure.

2. OVERGENERALIZATION:  You see a single event as a never-ending pattern of defeat by using the word ALWAYS or NEVER when you think about it.

3.  MENTAL FILTER:  You pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively. One word of criticism erases all the praise you have received.

4.  DISCOUNTING THE POSITIVE:  You reject positive experiences by insisting they "DON"T COUNT". If you do a good job, you tell yourself that anyone could have done as well.

5.  JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS:  You interpret things negatively when there are no facts to support your conclusions. Two common variations are MIND READING (you arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you) and FORTUNE TELLING (you assume and predict that things will turn out badly).

6.  MAGNIFICATION:  You exagerate the importance of your problems and shortcomings, or you minimize your desirable qualities. This is also called the "BINOCULAR TRICK".

7.  EMOTIONAL REASONING:  You assume your negative emotions reflect the way things really are: "I FEEL GUILTY. I MUST BE A ROTTEN PERSON".

8.  "SHOULD" STATEMENTS:  You tell yourself that things should be the way you hoped or expected them to be. Many people try to motivate themselves with "SHOULD'S" and "SHOULDN'TS" as if they had to be punished before they could be expected to do anything.

9.  LABELING:  This is an extreem form of "ALL OR NOTHING" thinking. Instead of saying, "I MADE A MISTAKE", you attach a negative label to yourself: "I'M A LOSER".

10.  PERSONALIZATION AND BLAME:  You hold yourself personally responsible for events that aren't entirely under your control.

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It is not the life I lived; but the life I leave behind. Posted Image
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God will give you no more than you can handle. This is all a test to see if you are really ready for the good things that are going to come your way. All this pain is going to come back and make me stronger.-Clarence Clemmons 1942-2011

Everything I know, I know because I love. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace

#20 Jkm

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 09:05 AM

My husband would tell you I'm a number ten all the time.  I'm always trying to fix things for people and solve problems.  Sometimes at the risk of doing without myself.

I have since learned to let things go, but it's really difficult at times to not get involved.  He says that I just want to make sure that people are happy.  Well, I've since taken a back seat, so to speak,  and am more willing to look at getting the needs of my family and myself met, and just being verbally supportive to others.  It's really hard, at times, and I really have to work at not backsliding.  My husband helps others' out lots, and he has developed better boundries with what he does.  I'm looking to him as a role model.  

"It's not selfish...."    Boy, I have a difficult time with this statement. :hearts:
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I have GAD. I worry about everything, lol!

#21 aimes

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Posted 02 April 2005 - 06:32 PM

Dear SW,

Thank you for posting this list.  As I read each item, it was like I was looking in a mirror.  I've printed a copy as a reference to add to my self-help articles.

Thanks again.

am i faithful
am i strong
am i good enough to belong,
in your revelrie a perfect girl?
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#22 an unquiet mind

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 06:57 PM

HI SW!!!!

I like this thread of yours very much. Quite a list. I think that I will print it out and refer to it sometimes. Thanks so much!!!!!
I just haven't been myself since ODB died, Deker.

I'm all that's left of a bizarre childhood.

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Posted 14 June 2005 - 07:38 PM

************Possible Trigger*************************



I was eading the first two or thre resonses to this thread and was wondering, i was gang raped when i was eleven. i feel guilty and responsible because i feel like i must have volunteered to have it happen to me. I huffed a drug called amyl Nitrate(commonly called poppers, or rush) this drug leaves a person vulnerable to suggestion. i was "huffing" this drug at the time and I passed out from it, when I awaoke i was being attacked by several diffeent guys. I never had much emotional reacion to this and even at eleven years of age, I always felt like I made the choice for that to happen. Because of this, Do I fall into any of these categories?


************************End Trigger************************

#24 Sheepwoman

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 10:24 AM

Blinded, you really described what depressed people go through and what we endure. Having to keep that positive attitude while our brain is manipulating our thinking is so difficult. Thank you.

Obsessedmuch, the trick here is to eliminate the can'ts, nevers, shoulda, woulda, couldas out of our thinking. Turn your life around. Believe it or not, you ARE worthwhile-you just don't see it right now.
Sheepwoman :hearts:

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God will give you no more than you can handle. This is all a test to see if you are really ready for the good things that are going to come your way. All this pain is going to come back and make me stronger.-Clarence Clemmons 1942-2011

Everything I know, I know because I love. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace

#25 Blinded

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 09:41 AM

1,3,5,6,10

Those are my traps right now..mostly obsessing how different I am to other people my age, how I don't fit in anywhere and never will <- oo look the word never crept in, I'm such a lost cause..really..like I'm destined to be unhappy for the rest of my life. If anyone can give any positive encouragement I'd appreciate it..but I'm very good at dismissing it though cos I don't think it'll apply to me :(

obsessedmuch,
I can really understand the feeling of just being destined to be unhappy. I can tell you that I still feel that way most of the time. May I point out something that might make you feel better? think about a big old cracked slab of concrete. Have you noticed that there is grass growing up in the cracks? the grass didn't just grow there...it had to go through a lot to get there. But it succeeded through perseverence. We are not meant to suffer, we are not meant to fail. Success is the natural order of things and if you keep looking, keep seeking and asking questions....you will find that you are worth it. :hearts: There is joy in being you, you will find it...don't give up :hug:

I can leave you with one thought though....People who deal with depression are actually much stronger than other people. Not only do we deal with the everyday things like 'everyone else' we have to deal with the thoughts we think, feelings we have, and the daily fight for anything happy we can find. We don't give up, no matter how bad we want to sometimes. We fight. We seek. We breathe in and out, everyday.
I listen to people around me who complain about little trivial things and think "If you had to deal with what I have to deal with everyday...you'd fall apart!"
That may be pretty judgemental on my part, but it makes me feel better.

#26 worrier

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 10:35 AM

Thank you  sheepwoman.  Well, I was worse then I am.  Mostly just anger and depression.  But I have improved, it just seems to never go away.  I have been trying to find a CBT therapist in my area, no luck yet.   I will do what you suggest though, just a question, how?   How do you work on this stuff.  I had a doc who would say think of the ocean and exercise and do other stuff.

#27 Sheepwoman

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 12:23 PM

worrier & tinybit, you both have the right idea. Take one step at a time on the list. If you need help, PM me.
Sheepwoman :hearts:

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God will give you no more than you can handle. This is all a test to see if you are really ready for the good things that are going to come your way. All this pain is going to come back and make me stronger.-Clarence Clemmons 1942-2011

Everything I know, I know because I love. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace

#28 Sheepwoman

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 11:26 AM

worrier,
The doc who recommeded the ocean was giving you a bit of stress management info. As for working on the traps, take #4 the Discounting the Positive. If you have been told you did something good, do you tell yourself it was nothing exceptional? To change this attitude, when you receive praise, you need to give yourself a pat on the back and feel good that you contributed positively to your work or studies if you are still a student. Congratulate yourself. You deserve it.
Be positive. That is the answer to the cognitive traps. Can you change your outlook and the way you think? Yes, you can. It takes practice and work on your part. If you can't find a CBT therapist in your area, find one who does cognitive therapy-your behaviors will change also with this type of therapy.
Sheepwoman :hearts:

It is not the life I lived; but the life I leave behind. Posted Image
Sheepwoman

God will give you no more than you can handle. This is all a test to see if you are really ready for the good things that are going to come your way. All this pain is going to come back and make me stronger.-Clarence Clemmons 1942-2011

Everything I know, I know because I love. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace

#29 obsessedmuch

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 09:16 PM

1,3,5,6,10

Those are my traps right now..mostly obsessing how different I am to other people my age, how I don't fit in anywhere and never will <- oo look the word never crept in, I'm such a lost cause..really..like I'm destined to be unhappy for the rest of my life. If anyone can give any positive encouragement I'd appreciate it..but I'm very good at dismissing it though cos I don't think it'll apply to me :(

#30 Blinded

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Posted 22 April 2005 - 09:06 AM

I know what you mean OM, it's like what you feel isn't worth expressing, but it consumes you. It's a void that only your imagination can fill. Dead inside and longing to feel something even if it's self-degrading! Punishment is a form of fulfillment in itself and because you feel so complete in that, you continue. No one can fill it the same way with positive statements. The only way out IMHO, is to NOT berate yourself for feeling this way. Forgive yourself for what you feel. It may be hard...I'm still working on it, and it's not easy....but your subconscience doesn't know the difference in truth, lies, fact or fiction. You act as you think. you can forgive yourself. then you can work on finding things about yourself that you like. Even the small things. They are there...find them ;)
You can't possess what you abhor. Focus on what you want your life to be and where you want to be.

Kudos for talking! It is a huge step! You've found a starting place! Don't stop! I haven't been here that long either, but I know these people will listen and they care.
:bump: :hearts:

#31 Sheepwoman

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Posted 30 April 2005 - 11:20 AM

Blinded, you are so insightful and supportive, I hope you keep coming back to DF. Thank you.

Welcome Shadow to DF. You will find a lot of support and caring here.
Sheepwoman :hearts:

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God will give you no more than you can handle. This is all a test to see if you are really ready for the good things that are going to come your way. All this pain is going to come back and make me stronger.-Clarence Clemmons 1942-2011

Everything I know, I know because I love. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace

#32 Merlin

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 07:54 AM

I've just found this thread and had to say a big thankyou for the 10 cognitive thread - I've already printed it out to keep!
J.P.Richardson

#33 Blinded

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Posted 10 May 2005 - 02:51 PM

I will...I need to. somehow I'll figure out a way. Thanks.

#34 Sheepwoman

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 09:17 AM

Welcome to DF, worrier,
If you have all 10 traps, my suggestion is to work on one at a time. When you feel comfortable with that change, move on to the next. Do you have one in particular that is the worst? If so, start with that one. If you need help, PM me anytime or just ask the questions you have here.
Sheepwoman :hearts:

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God will give you no more than you can handle. This is all a test to see if you are really ready for the good things that are going to come your way. All this pain is going to come back and make me stronger.-Clarence Clemmons 1942-2011

Everything I know, I know because I love. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace

#35 worrier

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 08:02 AM

This thread is very helpful but what do you do when you have all 10?

#36 shadow

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Posted 29 April 2005 - 12:28 PM

guilty, on at least 8 counts

#37 JonP

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Posted 29 June 2005 - 06:51 PM

What to do if this course of action actually makes things worse?

Everything I believe is wrong, because *I* am wrong and worthless and stupid and lazy and cowardly and incompetent and vile and disgusting and everey second of my life is, by definition, a miserable failure. Even if I happen to believe something that's right, it's still wrong because it's *me* that's believing it.

"Proving" that my belief in my own vileness is unsound merely further proves how vile I am, because I believe something so stupid. That act of this proof simply shows me that I now believe something that I know to be stupid, and so reinforces that belief even more.

#38 Sheepwoman

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Posted 30 June 2005 - 11:23 AM

JonP,
I'm sorry that you feel you are bad, vile, worthless, etc. You must WANT to make changes in your life if you want to heal. The Cognitive Traps here are for people who WANT to HELP themselves to get better. From your other post in New Members, I can understand why you feel the way you do and see or understand why nothing worked for you. You did not care to change yourself enough for therapy to work for you.
Sheepwoman :hearts:

It is not the life I lived; but the life I leave behind. Posted Image
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God will give you no more than you can handle. This is all a test to see if you are really ready for the good things that are going to come your way. All this pain is going to come back and make me stronger.-Clarence Clemmons 1942-2011

Everything I know, I know because I love. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace

#39 dawgdean

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Posted 19 August 2005 - 12:42 PM

Thanks for acknowledging traps.  I printed it out because I want to think about it some more.  

I recently had an experience of number 5.  The other person was extending love my way and, due to my own self-loathing, I could not accept it.  Oh, I see that's actually number 4, and number 6, and number 7, and #9.  I am not a victim.  I am a volunteer.

#40 chaku

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Posted 17 September 2005 - 01:08 PM

Sheepwoman, you were right that this is a very interesting list. I am honestly not sure how guilty of these things I am, because I am unsure whether each one of these things is always a trap to be stuck in.

1.(All or nothing thinkig) - To conclude that these are always cognitive traps would be making an all or nothing statement about the value of these methods of thinking.

2.(Overgeneralization) - As long as the generalization is "over" the reality of the situation I completely agree with this one.

3.(Mental Filter) - In some situations a single detail can be enough to make decisions on, if someone were to hit you, that single detail should be enough to change your relationship. Otherwise I agree once again.

4.(Discounting Positive) - This is completely accurate and very good advice.

5.(Jumping to Conclusions) - Another piece of wisdom, it is easy to jump to conclusions, and I have suffered from this problem as well. Even here. :hearts:

6.(Magnification) - If you had done something that deserves this magnification, such as commiting murder, or hurting someone else badly, this may actually be a good skill to protect others. But then again maybe not, I am unsure.

7.(Emotional Reasoning) - One of the most valuable on this list, it comes very naturally to respond to logic with emotions. While both are very important things, emotion cannot be verified as logic can, and should not be used to soley debate a point with yourself or others.

8.(Should Statements) - This is a tricky one for me, if you mean that we should not take the "blame" for this world, then I agree, but every moral society that I know of bases itself upon shoulds, and should nots. You should not **** people, they should not **** you. You should listen to others, they should listen to you and so on. The way that any healthy person or society should function is through boundaries. So I would need more clarification on this one.

9.(Labeling) - Completely right, labels can stop rationality right in its tracks. Instead of looking at the reasons for some situation, people often get hung up on the "labels" that apply and make gross overgeneralizations or even completely innacurate statements.

10.(Personalization and Blame) - Yet another interesting one for me. For instance: your past is unchangable and outside of your control, but should you feel responsible for your own actions? I believe you should take the blame there, but not for someone else's actions.

Those were very interesting and helpful perceptions of faulty thinking, and thanks again Sheepwoman for pointing this out to me.

Edit:

I hope this doesn't double post somehow, the boards were acting very strange.
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