Whats the Link Between Negative Thinking, Distorted Thoughts, and Addiction?

An intense form of this is called catastrophizing which presents as the excessive magnification of the worse potential outcome or experiencing an unideal experience as devastating. There are a few techniques I use with my clients in life coaching, psychotherapy, and online group services to help to identify all-or-nothing thinking and start to focus on the gray areas. For instance, a person with all-or-nothing thinking sees negativity as the only possible outcome in any situation. Kristi Schwegman is a psychotherapist specializing in helping couples develop healthy relationships, whether dating, engaged, or married.

Trauma symptoms (PTSD) and substance problems often go hand in hand for many people and constitute a dual diagnosis or co-occurring treatment and recovery need. Symptoms of PTSD and of Substance Disorders occur in thoughts, feelings, nightmares, physiological symptoms, behaviors and sensory perceptions. People in recovery from Substance Disorders and co-occurring trauma can have an increase in PTSD symptoms at various stages of addiction recovery. The stress of withdrawal and detox, for example, can increase trauma symptoms as can prolonged abstinence, particularly if substances were used to self-medicate chronic PTSD. Consequently, untreated trauma can be a significant factor in relapse back to substance use. Coordinated treatment for both issues is critical for those who have both a Substance Disorder and PTSD.

Six Ways to Boost Your Willpower for Addiction Recovery

Our addiction treatment programming also includes dual diagnosis care for those with mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. Through the assistance of licensed counselors, you can reclaim your mind and banish negative thoughts for good. These negative, inaccurate perceptions are referred to as cognitive distortions. You can think of them as mental errors that turn into bad habits.

  • Personalizing would be assuming that they are in a sour mood because you’ve been a bad or unsupportive friend.
  • For instance, you “mind read” by inferring your friend’s intentions and emotions from their behavior or body language.
  • Happily, there is light and there is hope, we can and we do recover.
  • Coming into recovery we have to learn to consciously connect with our thoughts and identify the truth from the false.

In fact, you might be dead wrong, but distorted thinking will help you hide that reality from yourself. You might think that the Twelve Steps are for others who aren’t quite as smart as you are. People functioning at the highest intellectual levels are just as vulnerable to addictive thinking as anyone else.

All-or-Nothing Thinking

Here, someone expects that other people will change to suit them if they pressure them enough. They’re the ones that need to change others because their hopes depend on them. For example, a girlfriend who tries to get her boyfriend to improve his appearance and manners.

thinking errors in addiction

You have to dig deep to find and let go of character defects like grandiosity and perfectionism. Intense isolation and loneliness are an inevitable result of addictive thinking. You become alienated from yourself and others in all areas of your life. You need to re-establish your connections, first with yourself and then with others. The first step to overcoming addictive thinking is to become honest with yourself.

Staying Socially Engaged When You Really Don’t Feel Like It

Both should be considered primary treatment needs because of the intricate link between the two. Relapse is more apt to occur in both if one condition is put aside while the other is addressed. A good relapse prevention plan for any condition will integrate every level of functioning and give a thorough ‘troubleshooting’ assessment and plan for potential problems. A substance relapse prevention plan should include a detailed consideration of trauma issues for those who have both conditions.

thinking errors in addiction

Based on the emotion you feel, caused by your thoughts, can determine your next action or behavior. If you are accustomed to feeling negative emotion, then you are more likely to use a behavior like drinking or using drugs to https://stylevanity.com/2023/07/top-5-questions-to-ask-yourself-when-choosing-sober-house.html numb the emotion you are feeling. DBT is another behavior-focused psychotherapy that is highly effective in treating people with substance use disorders. DBT focuses on the psycho-social aspects of treatment and recovery.

Examining our thoughts in addiction recovery

Whatever our current circumstances, gratitude can always be found in the very simple and free things in life, if we are willing and search with our heart. If you are reading this, you are taking an interest in your recovery. Oftentimes, thoughts can seldom have any bearing on reality and this is why it is so important to guard them. Whether that action is positive and helpful depends on the nature of the thought process behind it and our intent. This is where we can take charge of our thoughts by being mindful. By staying connected, we are able to guard our thoughts, discarding the thoughts that do not serve our own addiction recovery and embracing the ones that do.

Your brain adapts to substances with continued use, which makes stopping hard. It requires the right treatment to re-program your mind to live without them. Angie Carter, CRADC, SAP is a certified reciprocal alcohol and drug counselor and DOT certified Substance Abuse Professional. She is in private practice at Carter Counseling & Consulting Services.

This juxtaposition is puzzling, and a clear mechanistically precise understanding of impaired control has yet to emerge. In this article, a Distortion model of impaired control is put forward. The key insight of the model is that the puzzling pattern of partial control seen in addiction can be understood in terms of unreliable control. These distorted thoughts, typically gradually and cumulatively, lead to illusion-like misvaluation of costs and benefits of drug use, in turn eventually leading to decisions to use. Moreover, the model explains a range of clinical findings in addiction that are not easily accommodated on leading alternative views.