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Sober living

The Powerful Role of Cognitive Thinking Errors in Addiction

Begin to talk to yourself in the same encouraging way you would to a friend. Positive self-talk is powerful, and if you practice it enough, it can stop you from the downward spiral that may lead to substance abuse. For several reasons—whether self-medication, stress or impulsivity—many people start abusing drugs and alcohol as a coping method. Although drugs and alcohol might seem like only a temporary solution, they quickly become a primary source of relief. This distortion is a popular one, and it’s easy to see myriad examples of this fallacy playing out on big and small screens across the world.

  • Drug use can push people to borrow or steal money or other valuable items, and to neglect ongoing financial obligations.
  • The “Heaven’s Reward Fallacy” manifests as a belief that one’s struggles, one’s suffering, and one’s hard work will result in a just reward.
  • Because this error in thinking may lead to relapse, individuals in recovery must avoid catastrophizing.
  • A CBT therapist can assist you in using what you learn in therapy to identify and challenge cognitive distortions to improve your health and wellness prevent a recurrence to drinking or substance use.

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  • Substance abuse disorder is considered mild in the presence of two or three criteria.
  • The good news is that cognitive distortions don’t have to weigh you down like an anchor.
  • We are all guilty of letting cognitive distortions take over our emotions and beliefs more than once.
  • These physical and psychological cravings will produce thought patterns which are common to all addicts’ personality features.

Sweating, body tremors, or even vomiting can be signs, as can weight loss or gain. Intoxication has its own distinctive psychological manifestations—from belligerence and mood lability to impaired judgement and “absent presence.” They result from the effects of the substance on the central nervous system. Those who are high also display perceptual disturbances, problems with attention, disrupted thinking patterns and easy confusion, as well as difficulties relating to others. The focus of this article is to learn to recognize common ways of thinking that lead to emotional upsets and, as a result, unwanted behaviors… such as addiction. In this pattern of thinking, a person may expect divine rewards for his or her sacrifices. People experiencing this distortion tend to put their interests and feelings aside in hopes that they will be rewarded for their selflessness later, but they may become bitter and angry if the reward is never presented.

  • When something goes wrong, there may be a temptation to blame others – or yourself – for causing the problem.
  • Addiction can change the way we think, the way we feel, and the way we behave as well.
  • These distortions in our thinking are often subtle, and it is challenging to recognize them when they are a regular feature of our day-to-day thoughts.
  • But importantly, just because you think these things doesn’t mean they are true.
  • All-or-nothing thinking, often known as black-and-white thinking, is a type of cognitive distortion that many individuals who suffer from SUD encounter.

Can a Pet Help You Recover From Addiction?

20 common thinking errors of addicts

Everyone struggles with the infamous “shoulds.” These statements appear as ironclad rules we set for ourselves and those around us. When someone breaks these rules, we feel angry, defeated, and even try to punish ourselves. These are a few new habits to practice in recovery as you learn how to value yourself. Get the help you need from a therapist near you–a FREE service from Psychology Today.

How to Fix Thought Distortions

Each worksheet is created by a team member with exposure to and experience in the subject matter. This is someone with extensive knowledge of the subject matter and highly cited published material. Addictions have a wide range of serious complications, many of which can be life-limiting and potentially dangerous. That makes it helpful to know what to watch for if we’re concerned that addiction may exist. Some people have found relief from past trauma (and been successfully treated for addiction) through the use of hallucinogens. Take the ABC Crash Course and learn to challenge those old ideas, like Demandingness.

Personal choice and empowerment

If you are already struggling with anxiety, this only adds to the challenge, compounding uncertainty with boredom and isolation. Unfortunately, our own thinking is typically the biggest source of anxiety. The following errors in thinking may be making you more anxious than you need to be. Discover the convenience of BetterHelp, an online therapy platform connecting you with licensed and accredited therapists specialized in addressing issues such as depression, anxiety, relationships, and more. Complete the assessment and find your ideal therapist within just 48 hours. There are many ways your mind can play tricks on you when it comes to addiction.

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