When thoughts are automatic we don’t have the chance to check them out. Once we capture our thoughts we can give them a bit more attention. Here our aim is to stand back from our thoughts and to weigh them up more carefully.
In developing his theory of depression, Aaron Beck identified many different types of thinking traps that tend to make people feel more unhappy and depressed. Don’t be surprised if you find that you make them too – they’re very common and easy to fall into.
Here are a few examples of thinking errors that are common in depression
|Black and white thinking||– I can’t say anything right these days
– Everything I say/do is wrong
|Mind reading||– The teacher will think I’m lazy
– They will think I’m pathetic
|Predicting the worst||– It’ll be awful
– I won’t be able to stand it
|Over-generalising||I’m a real loser|
|Jumping to conclusions||I’ll be better off not going to school at all|
|Personalising||If it goes wrong it’ll be all my fault|
|Catastrophising||Nothing I do is ever right|
Do these thinking errors sound familiar to you? How many are you aware of making yourself?
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