The 7 Most Common Cognitive Distortions That Lead to Relapse

If being with others who drink or use will lead you to “just one” thinking, you can avoid those people and situations. If you can’t avoid them, have a plan to honor your recovery goals, such as taking a clean and sober friend along. Limit the time and plan on doing something immediately afterward that you especially enjoy. The possibilities for the old thinking to return are endless, but so are the potential solutions.

  • One of the most common is a thinking pattern that is called all-or-nothing thinking.
  • CBT teaches addicted individuals to recognize addiction-related behavior and correct it by applying learned skills.
  • The key to removing your cognitive distortions is by challenging and changing disordered thinking patterns through cognitive behavioral thinking (CBT) and general mindfulness.
  • But sometimes, the most unwelcome situation is exactly what we gravitate towards.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) could be forwarded to SAMHSA or a verified treatment provider. Calls are routed based on availability and geographic location. Even though many thought patterns are automatic, you can change the way you think3.

How Do You Make Relaxation a Regular Part of Recovery?

To learn more about how to start your healing journey at Impact Recovery, get in touch with a member of our team here. Labeling can make it difficult for you to gain new perspectives on yourself, others, objects, and past events. When someone struggles with this distortion, they’ll be on a constant pursuit to put others on trial to prove that their opinions and actions are correct. To someone with this struggle, being wrong is unthinkable, and will go to any length to demonstrate their rightness.

You can make poor assumptions about others without investigating if they are true, harming your relationships. Personalization often comes into play when trying to work through the underlying causes of alcohol addiction. For example, blaming yourself for a pattern of physical abuse that caused trauma, which in turn contributed to your alcohol use. If a person has a regular pattern of catastrophizing, this can be a major factor in addiction and obtaining alcohol addiction help. Of course, the methods of coping with your distortions will depend on the type of negative patterns you’re struggling with.

Legendary Musician Ray Charles Battled Decades-Long Heroin Addiction

We have to be aware of what we’re thinking because it’s too easy for our brains to make assumptions or twist thoughts to help them fit a certain narrative that it’s created. Mindfulness is a very powerful tool that enables us to observe our thoughts in addiction recovery on a conscious level. Perhaps we have an event happening that makes us feel unsettled. Having a plan that works for you can be invaluable in such circumstances. Many of us will have undergone extensive therapy, CBT or counselling to help us accept a new and healthier way of thinking during the early days of our recovery.

How do you replace thinking errors?

Analyze the Thought: Notice and write down any thinking errors about those thoughts. Replace the Thought: Write down some other thoughts you could choose to think instead. Choose the Thought: Decide what thought you are going to choose to think and write it down.

This distortion can cause you to think that you do not deserve to recover from your addiction. These distorted thought processes often lead to intense emotions. The AlcoholicsAnonymous.com helpline is free, private, and Top 5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing Sober House confidential. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center.

The Relationship Between Cognitive Distortion and Dual Diagnosis

Coming into recovery we have to learn to consciously connect with our thoughts and identify the truth from the false. Dr. Sledge is a sought-after speaker in the industry, talking about the critical need to treat both the mind and body of those struggling with substance use disorder. In addition to working for Cumberland Heights, Dr. Sledge is an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. Jay is a grateful recovering alumnus, having been a patient at Cumberland Heights in 1989. His personal treatment experience helped shape his leadership principles today. The rates of remission differ greatly between people seeking treatment and those who are attempting to go it alone.

Can overthinking cause addiction?

The legitimacy of being addicted to overthinking may be up for debate by some, while others can attest to the daily suffering caused by being consumed by their thoughts. This all-pervading need to analyze, fix, control, and manipulate the outcome is addictive thinking at its finest.

“You made me feel bad” is what usually defines this cognitive distortion. However, even when others engage in hurtful behaviors, you’re still in control of how you feel in most situations. You can learn to identify cognitive distortions so that you’ll know when your mind is playing tricks on you. Then you can reframe and redirect your thoughts so that they have less of a negative impact on your mood and behaviors. An attitude of trust in yourself, other people, and your Higher Power is needed to maintain your healthy recovery.

The main difference is that you dismiss it as something of no value when you do think of positive aspects. It’s performance review time at your company, and your manager compliments your hard work several times. You leave the meeting feeling miserable and dwell on that one suggestion all day long. But if you engage too frequently in negative thoughts, your mental health can take a hit. “I can have just one drink and then I’ll stop” is a good example of thinking that, on the surface, may sound quite logical.

Instead of punishing others, take a step back and sympathize with the person who wronged you. Keep in mind that things are typically never as bad as you make them out to be. Start combating this way of thinking by recognizing when it happens and asking yourself if filtering your experience benefits you.