Distorted thinking of “distorted thinking” lists

Every once in awhile you will run across a “distorted thinking” list that claims depression makes you see the world in a way that it really isn’t.  Here are some thoughts on their line of thinking.

People want to be given the benefit of the doubt even though they rarely deserve it.  Not trusting people and guarding your heart is seen as a pathology rather than an adaptive response to past stimuli.

Being negative is seen as a power grab.  Those in power don’t want people with “depression” pointing out the negativity they see around them because negativity is empowering, it unmasks the way things really are.  When one gets the label depressed, their speaking truth to power becomes “venting” and is quickly dismissed.

The only generalizations one are allowed to make are the ones that are politically correct.  If you say “everybody has innate worth” you get a pass but as soon as you say “nobody will befriend me” you get told you have “distorted thinking” even though the latter has been true to your experience rather than the former.  Negative generalizations reach deep into our evolutionary past, when we saw something like a tiger coming we either ran or fought.

Those who are nothing aren’t allowed to have all or nothing thinking.  In real life there are a lot of all-or-nothing experiences.  You either get the job or you don’t, the potential friend either accepts you or rejects you, they write back or they don’t.  It makes us uncomfortable to think about how much of life hinges on all-or-nothing experiences so we pretend they aren’t that important.

The truth is like a pit bull, it bites and doesn’t let go.  The mind often doesn’t have novel thoughts, it works as a conduit.  People with depression generally aren’t idiots.  If everyone they come into contact with thinks they are a loser, they are going to see it as true.  They may go to therapy and try to “reason” themselves out of it but the truth will always be buried beneath the surface ready to spring out at any time.

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