Unhealthy Thinking Patterns Connected With Depression

  • All-or-nothing thinking. Seeing things in black-or-white. For example, if a situation falls short of perfection, you consider it a total failure.
  • Overgeneralizing. Letting a single negative event imply that bad things will always happen, or that good things will never happen.
  • Mental Filtering. Focusing in on a single negative aspect of a situation, and blocking out everything else that may be good about it.
  • Discounting the positive. Ignoring all positive events, and telling yourself that they don’t count, it was just a fluke or just luck. This predictably takes the joy out of life, and leaves you feeling inadequate.
  • Jumping to conclusions. Putting a negative spin on an event, even though there are not facts to support your conclusion.
  • Mind reading. Assuming that your can tell when someone is thinking bad thoughts about you.
  • Fortune-telling. Feeling that you can predict that something will turn out badly.
  • Magnification. Seeing problems and setbacks in exaggerated and large terms, or minimizing and putting down good things.
  • Emotional reasoning. Assuming that your negative emotional state really reflects the ways things are.
  • Should statements. Thinking that things “should” be the way you want them to be, rather than, “it would be nice” if things turned out the way you wanted.
  • Labeling. Attaching a negative label to yourself rather than describing what happened to you. “I’m a jerk” vs. “I made a small mistake”.
  • Personalization and self-blame. Holding yourself personally responsible for something that isn’t completely under your control.
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