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    Mental Health Log

    I'll be logging my progress in this thread.

    The Basics
    Diagnosis: Bipolar II with intrusive and obsessive-compulsive violent thoughts

    Medication: Wellbutrin 150mg (anti-depressant), Abilify 5mg (atypical anti-psychotic), NAC 600mg (originally used to treat Tylenol overdoses but it can be used to treat OCD symptoms. It'll arrive on Tuesday). I also take ginkgo biloba, fish oil, ginseng, vitamin C, vitamin D (in the winter), ashwagandha, B-12, spirulina, and a collagen supplement. I take all of these in the morning.

    Therapy: On Monday Feb 17th, I'll start cognitive behavioral therapy.

    Catalyst to Recovery
    A couple of Sundays ago, I experienced the apex of my anger and neurosis - I had the thought that I must kill my mother in order to reach the next stage of my development. I don't hate my mother, but I must kill someone I love in order to reach my apotheosis. When I kill her, I want her words, expressions, screams, and emotions etched in my memory forever. I want to be haunted by her last moments. This event horizon would be the moment in which I fully embrace the evil in my heart, the gateway for irreparable destruction both for others and for myself. A reverse spiritual awakening where I find transcendence and meaning in the immersion of the pain and violence. Violence, domination, and destruction are my destiny, or else why have these impulses in the first place? Why try to sublimate them when I SHOULD be directly expressing them. I must fulfill my destiny.

    Rage As A Manifestation of Existential Despair
    It doesn't take a genius to understand that underneath the rage, there is pain. Rage is expansive, motivating, and empowering when productively channeled. It's also destructive and self-imploding when not properly dealt with. I will not go into detail as to why I have all of this pain (at least not yet), but this rage is a response to regret, shame, insecurity, feelings of powerlessness and worthlessness, and frustrated desires. I'm always teetering on the edge of the abyss, peering into the black eye of the void. Every day is a death rehearsal, slowly chipping and pushing away, and destroying everything I hold dear until I have nothing to live for. Once that moment occurs, from the embers of despair, rage, and hate, I will emerge as someone fully realized in the evil I could commit.

    Starting On The Path Towards Recovery
    Here are my immediate goals at the moment: keep a consistent sleep schedule and meditate every morning (at least for 5 min). The next goal is to clean my room and keep it clean (in the spirit of Jordan B Peterson). The goal is to channel my energy from the head down towards the gut and below. My head center is chaotic noise. My anger feels less like a gut-centered emotion and more of a result of mental machinations and obsessive-compulsive cognitive loops. The long-term goal is for me to have more control over my cognitive map.

    How I am Feeling Today
    Now that my meds are starting to kick in and CBT will start on Monday, I begin to truly realize how being devastatingly sick is such a waste of time (when it’s treatable). All that time that could've been devoted to my goals and what gives me true joy was wasted on being sick. Granted, I still have my anger due to the fact that it’s existential in nature, but the intrusive thoughts have subsided a bit. My mind doesn’t feel hijacked. I can actually breathe again.

    I met with my CBT therapist yesterday and the session lasted an hour and half since it was an intake session. She was very thorough in her questioning since she was trying to see if what I have is really Bipolar ll and she mentioned that she might do some more additional tests to see what's going on. I already told my psychiatrist that I want to get my testosterone levels tested but I forgot to mention this to my CBT therapist. Here is an article on high testosterone in women:

    The symptoms of high T in women:
    • acne
    • deep voice
    • excess hair on the face and body (not so such now since my body hair has thinned)
    • increased muscle mass
    • irregular periods (my periods only last 2 days)
    • larger-than-normal clitoris
    • loss of libido
    • mood changes
    • reduction in breast size
    • thinning hair
    I highlighted the symptoms that I have. My acne has subsided these past 2 years, but I had to use spironolactone to treat it. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of my issues stem from high T. I'll call my psychiatrist today so she can write a note about the need to test my T levels, which I'll give to the doctor at the immediate care clinic. When testing T levels, you need to measure the Total T and Free T levels,

    In men, most testosterone is made by the testes through a complex series of biochemical reactions – which convert cholesterol into testosterone (the adrenal glands also produce some testosterone).

    Testosterone molecules are then secreted directly into the bloodstream – where many of them soon bind to other molecules known as sex hormone binding globulin, or SHBG (testosterone, as you may know, is a sex hormone). Other testosterone molecules bind to albumin – an important type of blood protein.

    And the rest of your testosterone – the unbound testosterone? This testosterone is – quite appropriately – termed “free testosterone,” or free T, because it isn’t attached to other molecules. Your body actively uses free T molecules since they are at liberty to enter the body’s cells – unimpeded by SHBG or albumin – to carry out their function as signaling molecules that regulate metabolism and other cellular functions. (Testosterone molecules that are bound to other proteins cannot enter most of your cells.)

    If that’s free testosterone, then what is total testosterone?

    Total testosterone is a measure of how much testosterone you have in your blood in total – both free and bound. (So you’ll always have a higher level of total T than free T.)

    Generally speaking, you’ll have lower levels of free T if you have more SHBG – with more SHBG molecules in your blood, a greater amount of your testosterone will be bound and not at all free. -
    So this week, I made the goal that I'll start cleaning my room which entails waking up early enough to do it before work. On Sunday, I threw away all of the trash in my room. I didn't clean yesterday since I had my appointment. She gave me a little exercise to do during the week, and tomorrow, I'll do one on this thread. Since Stoicism is the theoretical ancestor of cognitive behavioral therapy, I'm looking more into it:
    Last edited by Mahat; 02-18-2020, 02:15 PM.


    • Mahat
      Mahat commented
      Editing a comment
      Working on small, concrete practical goals really helps to keep me grounded, organized, and focused. I tend to be detached from the more material and quotidian aspects of life. In the past, I would've thought of them as small and inconsequential, but the more I neglect them, the more they add up and become a problem. The devil is in the details. You can't work on big goals if the small details aren't taken cared of. At least I can't.
      Last edited by Mahat; 02-21-2020, 02:12 PM.

    • Mahat
      Mahat commented
      Editing a comment
      Roshan affect-wise, I'm feeling much much better. The combination of the meds and medication are amazing. Task-wise, things are little slow because I've had errands to run all this week. I still haven't gotten around testing my T levels yet. But I'm starting to get used to the nightly and morning routines and a consistent wake-sleep schedule. I know I haven't done my CBT exercises on this thread yet, but I've been doing them when any flare ups do arise.
      Last edited by Mahat; 02-21-2020, 02:25 PM.

    • Mahat
      Mahat commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm definitely gonna post that exercise today and thank you . Another cool thing, I woke up early today without having to force myself to wake up

    My mind, both in health and unhealth, resorts to hyper-intellectualization. When in unhealth, my anger is caused by anxiety, not in the clinical sense (though that may be present) but by way of existential dread. Hyper-rumination commences. When in health, all of this mental energy leads to intellectual hyper-consumption in response to my mind being on overdrive. The latter may seem like a positive indication of health, and it is, however...when not tempered by temperance and mindfulness, it can lead to a degeneration in my routine and thus leading to me being less grounded. So while my mind is no longer focused on my anger and pain, there's still a mental myopia that occurs. Lately, I've been doing research on an essay I'll write (not for school or work, but just for writing purposes), and I've been immersed in Adorno, Hegel, Kant, Nietzsche, etc, and it's been consuming my mind. Everything is centered around that essay (and it's not like a I'm writing a dissertation, it might not even be that long in the end). So my current task to hanker down on this type of obsessiveness by doing my CBT exercises whenever I feel like I'm starting to get in the thrall of this impulse.


    • Mahat
      Mahat commented
      Editing a comment
      To put it succinctly, I tend to withdraw into my mindscape when in reality I should be more in the world, in the world of embodiment.

    • Animal
      Animal commented
      Editing a comment
      I can relate to this to some extent, though I will say I don't have the same mental illnesses so I'm not claiming that -- but just the sheer obsessiveness over a project. I also have to remember to get up and work out or walk around away from the computer. It's easier said than done. But in the end the project comes out better because my mind isn't stale.

    Here is the basic template of CBT techniques:
    1. What is the trigger/situation?
    2. What are your thoughts in response to that event?
    3. What are your emotions and how would you rate them (1-10)?
    4. What behaviors will you perform?
    5. What are the consequences of these behaviors?

    When I fall deeper into my intellectual consumption:
    1. The essay is the trigger that catalyzed this whole situation.
    2. In doing a little research for this essay, I got extremely enthusiastic and competitive - competitive with myself in what I can learn and master.
    3. I felt enthusiasm and excitement over this little endeavor. Maybe overly so in that I have 9 tabs opened related to it, and it's probably going to end up being a mini essay in the end. It won't be a formal research paper that's for sure. I'm not quite sure to rate my emotions.
    4. When I notice that I'm in the grip of all this, I'll stand up and do breathing exercises centered around the gut.*
    5. In doing the above, I'll keep myself grounded and mindful.

    *I made a deal with myself - Before I do any research/reading, I'll do 1 hour of cleaning (yes my room is that bad at the moment). Once this whole cleaning project gets accomplished, I'll eventually move onto exercising.


    • Mahat
      Mahat commented
      Editing a comment
      hahaha you're welcome!


    A Poison Tree ​​​​​​​by William Blake
    I was angry with my friend:
    I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
    I was angry with my foe:
    I told it not, my wrath did grow.

    And I watered it in fears
    Night and morning with my tears,
    And I sunned it with smiles
    And with soft deceitful wiles.

    And it grew both day and night,
    Till it bore an apple bright,
    And my foe beheld it shine,
    And he knew that it was mine,--

    And into my garden stole
    When the night had veiled the pole;
    In the morning, glad, I see
    My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

    --My psyche when untreated



      Hear The Voice by William Blake

      HEAR the voice of the Bard,
      Who present, past, and future, sees;
      Whose ears have heard
      The Holy Word
      That walk'd among the ancient trees;

      Calling the lapsèd soul,
      And weeping in the evening dew;
      That might control
      The starry pole,
      And fallen, fallen light renew!

      'O Earth, O Earth, return!
      Arise from out the dewy grass!
      Night is worn,
      And the morn
      Rises from the slumbrous mass.

      'Turn away no more;
      Why wilt thou turn away?
      The starry floor,
      The watery shore,
      Is given thee till the break of day.'


        Moved to the Mind subforum.
        Last edited by Mahat; 02-24-2020, 05:28 AM.



          I can take it
          Some things
          Feel like
          I'm on the other side
          Of every feeling ever felt
          Hold it close
          ... Screaming
          I've watched this scene a thousand times

          (so) I can taste it
          And in my head

          This is how it all begins
          Yes, I am becoming
          And this is how it all begins
          What did you expect?
          This is not an exit
          This has begun

          The blackest eyes
          ... Welcoming...
          I can almost see
          The new flesh
          A new disguise

          Give it to me
          I can take it

          Give it to me
          I can take it


            I find comfort in work to some degree even if I'm bored with it and view it as beneath me since it's blue collar type of work. Thankfully it's only a temporary job, but what I do like about it is that it's mechanical, and I enjoy tearing apart and putting machines back together and focusing on the process and parts. I'm extremely task-oriented, and I can have issues with coworkers who are more people-oriented especially when it effects my work. There's one woman at work who when I train her on certain equipment, she wants to chit chat. I don't mind talking about the task at hand but chit chat about people's lives doesn't interest (unless they're friends or people I'm interested in). But she's too busy fraternizing that it can get in the way of efficiency. She's too busy trying to be the cool mom instead of, I don't know, doing work that needs to be done. I almost feel like the fraternizing is a way to ingratiate herself so she can get away with less work. Anyways, even when I was at my lowest and on the verge of crying at work (because of personal issues), I still went to work and kept my composure. I can channel my feelings into tinkering with machines, and the more complicated the machine, the better.


              Click image for larger version

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              Last Monday my therapist and I made a chart. If it's hard to read, the top left quadrant is maladaptive coping skills I have (1). The top right one is adaptive coping skills I'm currently doing (2). The lower left are obstacles to what is meaningful (3). The lower right is what's meaningful to me/values (4). This was made in maybe 5-10 minutes so it's definitely not finished.

              To add on:
              1) Maladaptive
              a. Dwelling on anger
              b. Vegging out on TV shows and other distractions

              2) Adaptive
              a. Morning meditations
              b. Establishing a consistent sleep/wake schedule which includes having certain morning and night routines
              c. Setting up mini goals/projects to accomplish
              d. The last two are still tough for me since I'm still in the habit of being listless but I feel much better after I try them.

              3) Obstacles To a Meaningful Life
              a. Everything that's listed in #1
              b. Not focusing on the main goals in my life. the moment focusing on little goals helps me reach the bigger ones.

              4) Values
              a. Success
              b. Being in line with my ideal self
              c. Living passionately
              d. knowledge and wisdom - enlightenment not just through study but through lived experience
              e. Eventual alignment of my career and personal values
              Last edited by Mahat; 03-04-2020, 12:11 PM.


              • Mahat
                Mahat commented
                Editing a comment
                hopefully the chart will stay up this time

              "In Vogue’s 1969 Christmas issue, Vladimir Nabokov offered some advice for teaching James Joyce’s “Ulysses”: “Instead of perpetuating the pretentious nonsense of Homeric, chromatic, and visceral chapter headings, instructors should prepare maps of Dublin with Bloom’s and Stephen’s intertwining itineraries clearly traced.” He drew a charming one himself. Several decades later, a Boston College English professor named Joseph Nugent and his colleagues put together an annotated Google map that shadows Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom step by step. The Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain, as well as students at the Georgia Institute of Technology, have similarly reconstructed the paths of the London amblers in “Mrs. Dalloway.”

              Such maps clarify how much these novels depend on a curious link between mind and feet. Joyce and Woolf were writers who transformed the quicksilver of consciousness into paper and ink. To accomplish this, they sent characters on walks about town. As Mrs. Dalloway walks, she does not merely perceive the city around her. Rather, she dips in and out of her past, remolding London into a highly textured mental landscape, “making it up, building it round one, tumbling it, creating it every moment afresh.”

              Since at least the time of peripatetic Greek philosophers, many other writers have discovered a deep, intuitive connection between walking, thinking, and writing. (In fact, Adam Gopnik wrote about walking in The New Yorker just two weeks ago.) “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live!” Henry David Thoreau penned in his journal. “Methinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.” Thomas DeQuincey has calculated that William Wordsworth—whose poetry is filled with tramps up mountains, through forests, and along public roads—walked as many as a hundred and eighty thousand miles in his lifetime, which comes to an average of six and a half miles a day starting from age five.

              What is it about walking, in particular, that makes it so amenable to thinking and writing? The answer begins with changes to our chemistry. When we go for a walk, the heart pumps faster, circulating more blood and oxygen not just to the muscles but to all the organs—including the brain. Many experiments have shown that after or during exercise, even very mild exertion, people perform better on tests of memory and attention. Walking on a regular basis also promotes new connections between brain cells, staves off the usual withering of brain tissue that comes with age, increases the volume of the hippocampus (a brain region crucial for memory), and elevates levels of molecules that both stimulate the growth of new neurons and transmit messages between them.

              The way we move our bodies further changes the nature of our thoughts, and vice versa. Psychologists who specialize in exercise music have quantified what many of us already know: listening to songs with high tempos motivates us to run faster, and the swifter we move, the quicker we prefer our music. Likewise, when drivers hear loud, fast music, they unconsciously step a bit harder on the gas pedal. Walking at our own pace creates an unadulterated feedback loop between the rhythm of our bodies and our mental state that we cannot experience as easily when we’re jogging at the gym, steering a car, biking, or during any other kind of locomotion. When we stroll, the pace of our feet naturally vacillates with our moods and the cadence of our inner speech; at the same time, we can actively change the pace of our thoughts by deliberately walking more briskly or by slowing down.

              Because we don’t have to devote much conscious effort to the act of walking, our attention is free to wander—to overlay the world before us with a parade of images from the mind’s theatre. This is precisely the kind of mental state that studies have linked to innovative ideas and strokes of insight. Earlier this year, Marily Oppezzo and Daniel Schwartz of Stanford published what is likely the first set of studies that directly measure the way walking changes creativity in the moment. They got the idea for the studies while on a walk. “My doctoral advisor had the habit of going for walks with his students to brainstorm,” Oppezzo says of Schwartz. “One day we got kind of meta.”

              In a series of four experiments, Oppezzo and Schwartz asked a hundred and seventy-six college students to complete different tests of creative thinking while either sitting, walking on a treadmill, or sauntering through Stanford’s campus. In one test, for example, volunteers had to come up with atypical uses for everyday objects, such as a button or a tire. On average, the students thought of between four and six more novel uses for the objects while they were walking than when they were seated. Another experiment required volunteers to contemplate a metaphor, such as “a budding cocoon,” and generate a unique but equivalent metaphor, such as “an egg hatching.” Ninety-five per cent of students who went for a walk were able to do so, compared to only fifty per cent of those who never stood up. But walking actually worsened people’s performance on a different type of test, in which students had to find the one word that united a set of three, like “cheese” for “cottage, cream, and cake.” Oppezzo speculates that, by setting the mind adrift on a frothing sea of thought, walking is counterproductive to such laser-focussed thinking: “If you’re looking for a single correct answer to a question, you probably don’t want all of these different ideas bubbling up.”

              Where we walk matters as well. In a study led by Marc Berman of the University of South Carolina, students who ambled through an arboretum improved their performance on a memory test more than students who walked along city streets. A small but growing collection of studies suggests that spending time in green spaces—gardens, parks, forests—can rejuvenate the mental resources that man-made environments deplete. Psychologists have learned that attention is a limited resource that continually drains throughout the day. A crowded intersection—rife with pedestrians, cars, and billboards—bats our attention around. In contrast, walking past a pond in a park allows our mind to drift casually from one sensory experience to another, from wrinkling water to rustling reeds.

              Still, urban and pastoral walks likely offer unique advantages for the mind. A walk through a city provides more immediate stimulation—a greater variety of sensations for the mind to play with. But, if we are already at the brink of overstimulation, we can turn to nature instead. Woolf relished the creative energy of London’s streets, describing it in her diary as “being on the highest crest of the biggest wave, right in the centre & swim of things.” But she also depended on her walks through England’s South Downs to “have space to spread my mind out in.” And, in her youth, she often traveled to Cornwall for the summer, where she loved to “spend my afternoons in solitary trampling” through the countryside.

              Perhaps the most profound relationship between walking, thinking, and writing reveals itself at the end of a stroll, back at the desk. There, it becomes apparent that writing and walking are extremely similar feats, equal parts physical and mental. When we choose a path through a city or forest, our brain must survey the surrounding environment, construct a mental map of the world, settle on a way forward, and translate that plan into a series of footsteps. Likewise, writing forces the brain to review its own landscape, plot a course through that mental terrain, and transcribe the resulting trail of thoughts by guiding the hands. Walking organizes the world around us; writing organizes our thoughts. Ultimately, maps like the one that Nabokov drew are recursive: they are maps of maps."

              Since at least the time of Greek philosophers, many writers have discovered a deep, intuitive connection between walking, thinking, and writing.


                I sometimes question the competency of mental health professionals. With all that education and those fancy certificates, some still haven't manage to have a genuine understanding of the psyche. In some ways, some aspects of the psyche still elude them. Yesterday I attended my weekly CBT session. My therapist, whom I like, mentioned that she couldn't reconcile my desire to hurt others and my low self-esteem and self-critical nature; it didn't quite make sense to her. She also wanted to do more assessments on me in order to decipher what's really going on. I think part of my malaise stems from high testosterone (which still needs to get tested). But back to her comment. What's there to reconcile? Maybe it's easy for me understand because I'm in my own mind, but it doesn't take much of a logical leap to connect the two. I guess an explanation is due.

                Since I was very young, I've always had sadistic tendencies that got expressed with varying degrees of intensity and malice. The intensity of my anger and desire to hurt others coincided with the severity of my pathology. It comes to no surprised, and one fed the intensity of the other. My sense of control waned, and the more I lose control of myself, the more desperate I am in grasping any semblance of control. And I for one, am very much a grasper. I grasp for control. For any shred of integrity. For any sense of self-regard. For any spark of inner vitality. And in order to deal with the crushing reality of who I really am, and the anger at myself for not being the best in every facet of my life, I externalized my anger. It was a way to expand my ego, to make myself the center of the universe. The GOD of the universe. A god that unflinchingly and gleefully sends her flock to the slaughter because she can and she wills it.

                I see them all lined up
                Like naked children at the wall
                Their skin is hanging off in sheets
                Each face is painted like a whore
                Their blood is shining in the sun
                Their wounds are powdered with white salt
                Their lips are shaping silent words:
                I see my name as it spills out
                I see them walking on their knees
                Led in a chain by laughing girls
                I see them sucking on the dirt
                As if inhaling the whole world
                And one by one their throats are c
                And each one sings his choking song
                And each one sings his lullaby
                And each one falls and then he's gone
                And I feel good
                Yeah I feel fine
                And I feel good:
                I've been waiting far too long...
                I see their bodies in the pyre
                Leaking black smoke into the flames
                And all the people stand around
                Shaping lips into my name
                And soon the sun begins to sink
                Behind a wall of dirty air
                I see their bones there in the pile
                And taste the smell of burning hair
                And all the children howl for milk
                The rain spits down a million knives
                I see you running through the field
                I see you running for your useless life
                I feel you choking on your tongue
                I feel your breath attack your chest
                The dogs are ripping at your feet
                I see you bleeding out your happiness
                And I feel good
                Yeah I feel fine
                And I feel good:
                I finally got back what was always
                Rightfully mine
                The will to power in an sordid affair with thanatos. I yearned for others' destruction as I fed on their blood and sucked their life essence. Through their destruction my rebirth will commence in blood and pain as I emerge as the new maleficent God of the universe. Their blood and pain is a mirror image of my own blood and pain which they shall experience tenfold. The streets and sea shall run red and buildings set aflame and asunder. The screams of the damned shall fill the earth.
                Last edited by Mahat; 03-04-2020, 03:20 PM.


                • Mahat
                  Mahat commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I do think most of my self-worth sentiments are internally imposed (for the most part). For example, I wish I was thinner since that's more attractive and elegant, but I hate exercising and I have trouble getting into an exercise routine therefore I'm lazy and weak-willed, and that means I'm not exceptional and worthy. My looks are not up to standard, and I don't have the will to lose weight. This type of logic can apply to anything. I haven't settled into a career yet, therefore it reflects negatively on me. I couldn't get admitted into a prestigious university, therefore I'm not that intelligent. And so on so forth. I'm essentially trying to prove my reason for existence to myself.

                • Mahat
                  Mahat commented
                  Editing a comment
                  And a lot of my therapy sessions involves correcting that type of thinking. Ironically the more "accepting" of myself, the more likely I am able to accomplish the things I want. Plus getting a good hold on my daily routines builds self-efficacy which leads to higher self-esteem.

                • Mahat
                  Mahat commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Ah I see ok. Though I had stable and happy childhood/upbringing, when my mother would get mad at me, she would lay hell on me. Telling me that I'm worthless, weak, a burden, etc. On top of that, she would sometimes do it in a maliciously taunting way. I know deep down she loves, and she was reacting in the heat of the moment, but I can't help but think that she genuinely mean those words. As a child I was considered fairly intelligent and high-achieving. I didn't just do it for the approval and praise, but I also had a competitive streak. I loved being at the top echelons, however those echelons are measured or were measuring. But since I was a teen, it seemed like I had fallen from grace especially when I was college when I had to take multiple medical leaves for major depression. That era really was a huge catalyst in me developing a more negative self-image. I never had the best self-image to begin with, but those events really clinched it for me. And from then on, I've really internalized my mother's words. I also fell into a toxic relationship at that time.

                15 Common Cognitive Distortions
                1. Filtering
                A person engaging in filter (or “mental filtering) takes the negative details and magnifies those details while filtering out all positive aspects of a situation. For instance, a person may pick out a single, unpleasant detail and dwell on it exclusively so that their vision of reality becomes darkened or distorted. When a cognitive filter is applied, the person sees only the negative and ignores anything positive.

                2. Polarized Thinking (or “Black and White” Thinking)
                In polarized thinking, things are either “black-or-white” — all or nothing. We have to be perfect or we’re a complete and abject failure — there is no middle ground. A person with polarized thinking places people or situations in “either/or” categories, with no shades of gray or allowing for the complexity of most people and most situations. A person with black-and-white thinking sees things only in extremes.

                3. Overgeneralization
                In this cognitive distortion, a person comes to a general conclusion based on a single incident or a single piece of evidence. If something bad happens just once, they expect it to happen over and over again. A person may see a single, unpleasant event as part of a never-ending pattern of defeat.

                4. Jumping to Conclusions
                Without individuals saying so, a person who jumps to conclusions knows what another person is feeling and thinking — and exactly why they act the way they do. In particular, a person is able to determine how others are feeling toward the person, as though they could read their mind. Jumping to conclusions can also manifest itself as fortune-telling, where a person believes their entire future is pre-ordained (whether it be in school, work, or romantic relationships).

                For example, a person may conclude that someone is holding a grudge against them, but doesn’t actually bother to find out if they are correct. Another example involving fortune-telling is when a person may anticipate that things will turn out badly in their next relationship, and will feel convinced that their prediction is already an established fact, so why bother dating.

                5. Catastrophizing
                When a person engages in catastrophizing, they expect disaster to strike, no matter what. This is also referred to as magnifying, and can also come out in its opposite behavior, minimizing. In this distortion, a person hears about a problem and uses what if questions (e.g., “What if tragedy strikes?” “What if it happens to me?”) to imagine the absolute worst occurring.

                For example, a person might exaggerate the importance of insignificant events (such as their mistake, or someone else’s achievement). Or they may inappropriately shrink the magnitude of significant events until they appear tiny (for example, a person’s own desirable qualities or someone else’s imperfections).

                6. Personalization
                Personalization is a distortion where a person believes that everything others do or say is some kind of direct, personal reaction to them. They literally take virtually everything personally, even when something is not meant in that way. A person who experiences this kind of thinking will also compare themselves to others, trying to determine who is smarter, better looking, etc.

                A person engaging in personalization may also see themselves as the cause of some unhealthy external event that they were not responsible for. For example, “We were late to the dinner party and caused everyone to have a terrible time. If I had only pushed my husband to leave on time, this wouldn’t have happened.”

                7. Control Fallacies
                This distortion involves two different but related beliefs about being in complete control of every situation in a person’s life. In the first, if we feel externally controlled, we see ourselves as helpless a victim of fate. For example, “I can’t help it if the quality of the work is poor, my boss demanded I work overtime on it.”

                The fallacy of internal control has us assuming responsibility for the pain and happiness of everyone around us. For example, “Why aren’t you happy? Is it because of something I did?”

                8. Fallacy of Fairness
                In the fallacy of fairness, a person feels resentful because they think that they know what is fair, but other people won’t agree with them. As our parents tell us when we’re growing up and something doesn’t go our way, “Life isn’t always fair.” People who go through life applying a measuring ruler against every situation judging its “fairness” will often feel resentful, angry, and even hopelessness because of it. Because life isn’t fair — things will not always work out in a person’s favor, even when they should.

                9. Blaming
                When a person engages in blaming, they hold other people responsible for their emotional pain. They may also take the opposite track and instead blame themselves for every problem — even those clearly outside their own control.

                For example, “Stop making me feel bad about myself!” Nobody can “make” us feel any particular way — only we have control over our own emotions and emotional reactions.

                10. Shoulds
                Should statements (“I should pick up after myself more…”) appear as a list of ironclad rules about how every person should behave. People who break the rules make a person following these should statements angry. They also feel guilty when they violate their own rules. A person may often believe they are trying to motivate themselves with shoulds and shouldn’ts, as if they have to be punished before they can do anything.

                For example, “I really should exercise. I shouldn’t be so lazy.” Musts and oughts are also offenders. The emotional consequence is guilt. When a person directs should statements toward others, they often feel anger, frustration and resentment.

                11. Emotional Reasoning
                The distortion of emotional reasoning can be summed up by the statement, “If I feel that way, it must be true.” Whatever a person is feeling is believed to be true automatically and unconditionally. If a person feels stupid and boring, then they must be stupid and boring.

                Emotions are extremely strong in people, and can overrule our rational thoughts and reasoning. Emotional reasoning is when a person’s emotions takes over our thinking entirely, blotting out all rationality and logic. The person who engages in emotional reasoning assumes that their unhealthy emotions reflect the way things really are — “I feel it, therefore it must be true.”

                12. Fallacy of Change
                In the fallacy of change, a person expects that other people will change to suit them if they just pressure or cajole them enough. A person needs to change people because their hopes for success and happiness seem to depend entirely on them.

                This distortion is often found in thinking around relationships. For example, a girlfriend who tries to get her boyfriend to improve his appearance and manners, in the belief that this boyfriend is perfect in every other way and will make them happy if they only changed these few minor things.

                13. Global Labeling
                In global labeling (also referred to as mislabeling), a person generalizes one or two qualities into a negative global judgment about themselves or another person. This is an extreme form of overgeneralizing. Instead of describing an error in context of a specific situation, a person will attach an unhealthy universal label to themselves or others.

                For example, they may say, “I’m a loser” in a situation where they failed at a specific task. When someone else’s behavior rubs a person the wrong way — without bothering to understand any context around why — they may attach an unhealthy label to him, such as “He’s a real jerk.”

                Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded. For example, instead of saying someone drops her children off at daycare every day, a person who is mislabeling might say that “She abandons her children to strangers.”

                14. Always Being Right
                When a person engages in this distortion, they are continually putting other people on trial to prove that their own opinions and actions are the absolute correct ones. To a person engaging in “always being right,” being wrong is unthinkable — they will go to any length to demonstrate their rightness.

                For example, “I don’t care how badly arguing with me makes you feel, I’m going to win this argument no matter what because I’m right.” Being right often is more important than the feelings of others around a person who engages in this cognitive distortion, even loved ones.

                15. Heaven’s Reward Fallacy
                The final cognitive distortion is the false belief that a person’s sacrifice and self-denial will eventually pay off, as if some global force is keeping score. This is a riff on the fallacy of fairness, because in a fair world, the people who work the hardest will get the largest reward. A person who sacrifices and works hard but doesn’t experience the expected pay off will usually feel bitter when the reward doesn’t come.

                For instance, if a student gets a poor grade on one paper in one semester, they conclude they are a horrible student and should quit school.



                • Mahat
                  Mahat commented
                  Editing a comment
                  It is interesting. When typed correctly, you can hone in on a particular cognitive distortion or a cluster of cog distortions, and work on those. That's one benefit I can potentially see from enneagram.

                • Mahat
                  Mahat commented
                  Editing a comment
                  " filtering out all the negative aspects--isn't considered a cognitive distortion." - I noticed this too...maybe this shows a bias in our culture

                My CBT therapist wanted me get further looked at to see what's actually going on with me. Today, I started my assessment with another psychiatrist. This was an interview intake and my official assessment will be held on March 31st. By the end of the interview, he said that I features of borderline personality disorder rather than full blown bipolar II, with the caveat that I haven't taken the test yet, so we technically don't know yet. Five years ago I was admitted to the psychiatrist because I was a danger to myself and others. The events that preceded my hospitalizations was that I was in a paranoid rage and I was screaming and throwing stuff in my therapist's office. This happened twice, so the second time was the clincher. Anyways the psychiatrist at the hospital diagnosed me with BPD. At the time, my therapist, physician, and I felt dubious about the diagnosis. I don't necessarily fit the classic description of a borderline especially since I haven't experienced trauma. And as far as I know, BPD is a response to trauma that even some experts want to rename it Complex-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

                But I must mention...

                Between birth and age 7, I was shuffled between various households - Biological parents, then grandparents and uncles, then dad and his female roommate/friend, then back to grandparents and uncles, then single mom, and then from age 7 to the last year of high school, my mom and stepdad (who are now divorced and are with different people). Though I've never experienced these events as traumatic, I don't look back and think "geez that was shitty", but these events could've left some unconscious trauma in me. During those transition years and when I first lived with my mom permanently, I was anxious to gain her approval. Not only did I not see her much, she was also volatile and got angry very easily, so I had to constantly track her moods and try not to be a "burden." I only really feel worthwhile is when I'm not only achieving but give the illusion of success and self-possession. To me these signifiers are testaments to me being exceptional and I guess, superior. But knowing that I haven't really achieved anything of worth or anything special, the illusion rests on shaky foundations. I'm afraid that lovers and loved ones will see the more human side of me, and be turned off. The side of me that just woke up in the morning, the side of me that's naked and exposed, a nakedness that reveals gross imperfection. My darkness can be glamorized and mystified but the side of me that shits, eats, and drools when I sleep is unacceptable. I want to be beyond human. And in order to stave off rejection and abandonment, I have to be that. But I don't want to get too far ahead of myself since I'm not officially diagnosed yet.
                Last edited by Mahat; 03-12-2020, 01:26 PM.


                • Mahat
                  Mahat commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Now that phone is fixed, I have worksheets I've been meaning to share with you guys. Later on I'll post them.

                Some worksheets my therapist gave me
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