This is the final article in our attacking anxiety and depression: correcting faulty thinking series which has so far looked at how the brain works and thinking develops, how and why your brain makes errors and the consequences of faulty thinking, and how the depressed brain makes more errors than normal.
This can be likened to looking down a telescope or tube at something. When you do this you only ever see a fraction of what could be seen. Conclusion Jumping limits your available options because it prevents you from perceiving everything that is really out there.
Examples of Conclusion Jumping are:
- If I am not the best, I am a failure.
- I have to do everything to the best of my ability, or there is no point in even trying.
- People never change
- Life is ruined
- Men/Women are all the same
- If I cannot change by tomorrow there is no point in trying
- Really creative people do not need to try very hard
- If I do not get this job, that is it, I will never work again
- Nothing can help me
- I might have died, next time I will
- You are my friend or you are my enemy
Attacking anxiety and depression: Talking Down
When you think or speak of yourself or other people in a negative way, when you use should or must as absolute instructions or when you use emotions as a guide to reality, then that is ‘Talking Down’.
Using language in any way that detracts from your worth or the worth of someone else is an example of ‘Talking Down’. Talking Down is very damaging to your well being.
Once Talking Down starts it rapidly establishes itself as an automatic habit pattern that pervades every aspect of your mental activity.
Examples of ‘Talking Down’ are:
- I should be a better father
- I should be well by now
- I am ugly
- I am not worth anything
- People like that are useless
- I do not matter
- I am failing as a mother
- I should not let it all get to me as much as it does
Attacking anxiety and depression: Why it is worth challenging faulty thinking
In general the fact that the brain uses short cuts to reduce energy and processing time is not the problem, most of the time your brain gets it more or less right.
If you put effort into recognising and challenging faulty thinking you gain a valuable tool for taking control over your low mood. For this to happen it is necessary to turn automatic processes once again into conscious processes. This requires practise and constant attention on what you think, say and do, coupled with a willingness to recognise that some brain processes will need to be re-trained to ensure your well being.
Attacking anxiety and depression: Correcting faulty thinking: