Updated: Aug 14
Experts in the field of mental health have uncovered approximately twenty different forms of distorted thinking. It is understood that the majority of these develop as a result of trauma, or precarious circumstances during childhood. Developmental trauma is often the result of abuse which manifests into PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), CPTSD (Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), BPD (Borderline Personality disorder), depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, stress, eating disorders, addiction, and the development of unhealthy coping mechanisms that include compulsions. Unhealthy coping mechanisms can look like partying, drinking to excess, smoking, experimenting with drugs, with compulsions that include gambling, binge drinking, or eating, and excessive spending resulting from shopping. Distorted thinking is a coping mechanism used when trapped in an emotionally, and mentally abusive environment, however, not all distorted thinking patterns are characteristic in victims of abuse.
The relationship between addiction and mental abuse in intertwined, but the first thing to understand is that mental abuse is the same as psychological abuse, and emotional abuse. Healthy relationships involve support, healthy communication, trust, boundaries and respect, in contrast abusive relationships involve the polar opposite, lack of support, distorted communications including gaslighting, communication of lack of trust, lack of boundaries, and disrespect of person, and personal property. Research reveals that domestic abusers tend to admit to personality disorders classified under Cluster B of the DSM-lV, (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), which includes Narcissistic, Anti-social, Histrionic, and Borderline Personality Disorders. Abusive personalities tend to be symptomatic of depression, and addiction. Surprisingly, adults who were victims as children of narcissistic abuse tend to develop illnesses of Cluster B, PTSD, CPTSD, depression, anxiety, addiction, unhealthy coping mechanisms, and compulsions. Victims and perpetrators of abuse evidently suffer the same fate.
The known distorted thought forms that expose the mind of a victim, or an abuser, are as follows: black and white thinking, otherwise known as polarized thinking, personalization, catastrophizing, frequent use of "should" statements, minimizing, magnifying, mind-reading, fortune-telling, discounting the positive, overgeneralizing, filtering, labelling, blaming, emotional reasoning, always being "right", self-serving bias, heaven's reward fallacy, fallacy of fairness, fallacy of change, and last but not least, control fallacy.
The good news is thought forms can be corrected with a good dose of awareness, and cognitive restructuring, even for those people who do not identify as victims, but suffer depression, and anxiety. Support in this process can be found with a professional who specialized in cognitive therapy. Specific types of therapy that address distorted thinking is CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), and REBT (Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy). More information about distorted types of thinking can be found at goodtherapy.org. If you feel that cognitive distortions are causing depression, anxiety, or other health issues, consult a qualified therapist, or visit your medical doctor. Be kind, be well, and seek Bindu - the point of creation.