Friday, June 24, 2011

Black and White Thinkers....Are you prone to depression or anxiety?

In Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, we sometimes talk about a concept of black or white thinking as one of the contributing factors to a person's stress, anxiety or depression.

So what is it?

If the way you think is quite "rigid", then maybe, you are a black or white "thinker".  For example, for you, things are either "true" or "false", and things are either "right" or "wrong" and there is no real "greys".  This way of thinking can therefore be referred to as "black or white thinking".

"So, what is wrong with this?", you may ask.

Nothing, as long as you are in complete control.  For example, if you are a powerful King of a country and you believe that your country should be run in a certain "right" way, then if you can make that happen, you will be happy.  However, in life, as you know, things are not that simple.  Most of the time, you are not in complete control and hence, having this belief may not be so "helpful" for you at a given point in time.  Please note that it maybe helpful at a different point in time as discussed above.

So, when you are not in complete control, rather than thinking something as either "right" or "wrong", think of it as "helpful" or "not helpful" and then act accordingly.

I will expand more on this down the track.

Until next time.

Dr Vin Family Doctor Australia
MBBS FRACGP

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