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Are You a Catastrophizer?

a therapist asks a person are you a catastrophizer

A storm appears in the distance. Rather than preparing for a night of rain and thunder, you instantly presume your family and property are in immediate danger of a natural disaster. This line of thinking is called catastrophizing. The effects of constantly fearing the worst can be draining and, possibly worse, may stop you from engaging in things you enjoy. Finding relief from catastrophic thinking can be hard to do on your own. With mental health treatment, you may be able to make life-changing progress.

At The Arbor, we know how important it is to interrupt catastrophizing thoughts to begin healing. Many times, catastrophic thoughts are a significant part of the recovery process for people struggling with substance abuse and addiction. The medical professionals and recovery specialists at The Arbor work with each of our clients to help them overcome their addiction and lead a healthier, happier life. Get started today by calling 844.413.2690.

What Is Catastrophizing?

Catastrophizing is a form of thinking that occurs when someone magnifies the importance of an adverse event or situation and believes the worst will happen. Catastrophizing can lead to high levels of anxiety, depression, and stress. It can also make it difficult to concentrate or make decisions.

If you’re prone to catastrophizing, you may fixate on worst-case scenarios. For example, if you’re scheduled for surgery, you may believe the surgery will be unsuccessful, and you’ll never recover. Or, if you receive a less-than-perfect performance review at work, you may assume you’re about to be fired.

People who catastrophize often feel they have little control over their lives and everything happening to them. This way of thinking can make it difficult to cope with stress and can lead to avoidance behaviors, such as not wanting to leave the house or interact with others.

The Link Between Addiction and Catastrophizing

There’s a strong link between addiction and catastrophizing. People who suffer from substance abuse disorders often have difficulty managing their emotions. They may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions.

Substance abuse can also lead to catastrophic thinking. For example, if you’re addicted to opioids, you may believe you can never stop using them or that you’ll always be in pain. If you’re addicted to alcohol, you may believe drinking is the only way to relax and have fun.

Catastrophizing can also make it difficult for people to stick to their treatment plan. If you believe your situation is hopeless, you may not see the point in trying to get better.

Are You a Catastrophizer?

If you’re not sure if you’re a catastrophizer, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I often feel like things are out of my control?
  • Do I fixate on worst-case scenarios?
  • Do I believe the worst will happen no matter what I do?
  • Do negative thoughts affect my mood and energy levels?
  • Do I avoid people or activities because I’m afraid something bad will happen?
  • You might be a catastrophizer if you answered yes to any of these questions.

Mental Health Treatment in Austin, TX

If you’re struggling with catastrophizing thoughts, treatment can help. At The Arbor, we offer various mental health services to help our clients heal from addiction and live healthy lives.
Some of the treatments we offer for catastrophizing include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy – This therapy can help you identify and change thought patterns that lead to negative emotions.
  • Family therapy – Family therapy can help you improve your relationships and communication with your loved ones.
  • Group therapy – Group therapy can provide support and help you feel connected to others who are going through similar experiences.

At The Arbor, we understand how difficult it can be to cope with catastrophizing thoughts—especially while you’re in the grips of addiction. Our goal is to provide the tools and resources you need to overcome your addiction and lead a healthy, happy life. Contact us today at 844.413.2690 to learn more about our mental health services in Austin, TX.