The Top 10 Cognitive Disorders

The Top 10 Cognitive Disorders

All or Nothing Thinking: Seeing things as black-or-white, right-or-wrong with nothing in-between. Essentially, if I’m not perfect then I am a failure. That relationship didn’t go to the next level so it was a complete waste of time.

• There’s no point in playing if I’m not 100% in shape.

• They didn’t show. They are completely unreliable!

Overgeneralization: Using words like always, never in relation to a single event or experience.

• I’ll never find someone who treats me the way I deserve.

• She always does that…

Minimizing or Magnifying (Catastrophizing): Seeing things as dramatically more or less important than they actually are.

Often creating a “catastrophe” that follows.

• Because I forgot to send that email my boss will never trust me again. I won’t get that raise and my wife will leave me!

• Because the boss publicly thanked her, she’ll get that promotion, not me. Even though I had a great performance review and just won an industry award.

“Shoulds”: Using “should”, “need to”, “must”, “ought to” to motivate oneself, then feeling guilty when you don’t follow through. (or anger and resentment when someone else does follow through).

• I should have finished the appraisal this weekend.

• They ought to have been more considerate of my feelings.

• They should know that would have upset me!

Labelling: Attaching a negative label to yourself or someone else following a single event.

• I didn’t stand up for myself. I’m such a wimp!

• What an idiot, he should have seen that coming a mile away!

Jumping to Conclusions: Mind-Reading: Making negative assumptions without evidence or factual support. Your friend is pre-occupied and you don’t bother to find out why. You’re thinking:

• He still hasn’t forgiven me for missing his birthday celebration.

• She’s coming up with lame excuses because she doesn’t want to go out anymore.

Fortune Telling: Making negative predictions about the future without evidence or factual support.

• There aren’t many eligible singles in my area to date. (even though there are plenty of great, available people all around you).

• No-one understands me. I am so different from everybody else. (even though you have supportive friends).

Discounting the positive: Not acknowledging the positive. Saying anyone could have done it or insisting that your positive actions and qualities, or achievements don’t count.

• That doesn’t count. Anyone could have done it.

• I’ve only cut back from smoking 40 cigarettes a day to 10. It doesn’t count because I’m still a smoker.

Blame and Personalization: Blaming yourself when you weren’t entirely responsible or blaming others and denying your role in the situation.

• If only I hadn’t said that, they wouldn’t have…

• If only she hadn’t yelled at me, I wouldn’t have been angry and wouldn’t have…

•Emotional Reasoning: I feel therefore I am. Assuming that a feeling is true without digging deeper to see if it is accurate. Many falsely refer to this as intuition.

Dr. Andre Blaylock



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