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Note: This is a copy of a post from the depression forum of mentalearth.com. This is written by a professional psychologist who has chronic depression and have been on meds since 1985.
I think this short article is a summary of cognitive therapy.
I think the same rules can be applied for anxiety problems.
I think beast of anxiety uses the same tactics.
ilhan

The Martial Arts of Beast Fighting

A very effective means of coping with depression is cognitive restructuring. This is the means of recognizing irrational thoughts (coming from the Beast), and replacing them with more accurate thoughts. It’s not a cure-all, but it can soften the blows of the Beast and in times of remission, keep the Beast away. I’m in partial remission and find these methods have kept me from “going over the edge.” It doesn’t work for everyone, but some of you may find it useful. This has been posted before, and will continue to be posted upon request.

The basic premise of cognitive therapy is that emotions are physical responses to the abstract world within our minds. In other words, you have a stimulus (a situation)-- your mind then makes an interpretation—from your interpretation comes an autonomic, physical response we call an emotion. It’s the interpretation that causes the emotion, not the situation. When depressed, the Beast has a great deal of control over how we interpret things around us. This is where the survival begins.

Often, we are unaware of how we are interpreting things. It becomes automatic, and all we “seem” to have is the emotion. We then make the BIG mistake of emotional reasoning, which is…. “I feel it, therefore it must be true.” The real problem is not the emotion, but the interpretation that leads to the emotion. We don’t have direct control of an emotion because it is autonomic, but we do have control over our thoughts and interpretation of things. The secret is to back up and ask ourselves what thoughts and interpretations lead to our feelings. So the first step in surviving the Beast is learning to back up and analyze our thinking patterns.

Know and Recognize the Language of the Beast
Filtering: The Beast takes negative details and magnifies them while filtering out all positive aspects of a situation. If something good happens, it’s because of someone else. If something bad happens, it’s because of you, etc.

Polarized Thinking: The Beast tells you that things are black and white, good or bad. You have to be perfect or you’re a failure. There is no middle ground.

Overgeneralization: The Beast insists on a general conclusion based on a single incident or piece of evidence. If something bad happens once, you can expect it to happen over and over again.

Mind Reading: The Beast tells you what people are feeling and why they act the way they do. In particular, the Beast is able to divine what people are thinking about you (which is really none of our business).

Castastrophizing: The Beast convinces you a disaster is imminent. As soon as you hear about a problem, the Beast starts to list a series of “what if’s.”

Personalization: The Beast has convinced you that everything others do or say is some kind of reaction to you. It constantly compares you to those around you, trying to convince you that they are smarter, better looking, and so on.

Control Fallacies: Since the Beast appears to control your life, you see yourself as helpless; a victim of fate. On the other hand, it has you convinced that you are responsible for the pain or happiness of everyone around you.

Fallacy of Fairness: The Beast makes you feel resentful because you think you know what’s fair but other people won’t agree with you.

Blaming: The Beast either gets you to hold other people responsible for your pain or to blame yourself for every conceivable problem in your life.

Shoulds: The Beast has given you a list of ironclad rules about how you and other people “should” act. People who break the rules make you resentful, and you feel guilty if you violate the rules.

Emotional Reasoning: The Beast has convinced you that what you feel must be true—automatically. If you feel worthless, then you must be worthless.

Fallacy of Change: The Beast lies by telling you that other people will change to suit you if you pressure or cajole them enough. Of course, the reason you need to change other people is because your happiness depends entirely on their behavior.

Global Labeling: The Beast generalizes one or two qualities into a negative global judgment. “Since you don’t do well in math, that proves you’re stupid.”

Heaven’s Reward Fallacy: Once again, the Beast has you believing that all your sacrifice and self-denial will pay off, as if there were someone keeping score. Of course, the Beast is setting you up because you feel bitter when the reward doesn’t come.

Some of these may pertain to you and some may not. Later, I will be posting some ways of combating the language of the Beast, helping us cope better.

I, by no means, have total control over my thoughts… but this approach has helped me get through some difficult situations and I have to continue working on my thought patterns.

I love you all, and hope that this helps in some small way. You’re certainly welcome to print this out and hang it up if you want to. Ones on my fridge (because I frequent the fridge so often LOL).
 

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I know this is kind of an old link, but I just noticed it today. It's really great stuff. I experience most of those pretty much everyday. Sometimes I'm even aware of how irrational these thoughts are, but it seems like deep down I can't really convince myself that these negative thoughts have no bearing in reality. It's a tough beast to tame.
 
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