Here is a list of typical distortions which are made in depressive thinking.📚
All or nothing thinking – You see things in black-or-white categories. If a situation falls short of
perfect, you see it as total failure, or all bad.
Over-generalisation – You see one or more negative events as never-ending pattern of defeat. Characterised by using the words “always” or “never”.
Mental filter (Also known as Globalisation)- You pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively, so that your whole view of reality becomes darkened. E.g. obsessive dwelling on a single criticism.
Discounting the positive – You reject positive experiences by insisting that they “don’t count”, e.g. if you do a good job, you tell yourself that it wasn’t good enough or that anyone could have done as well.
Jumping to conclusions – Mind reading – without checking it out you arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you.
Negative Forecasting – you predict that things will turn out badly, or predict worst case scenarios.
Magnification- You exaggerate the importance of your problems and shortcomings, or you minimise the importance of your desirable qualities, known as the “binocular trick.”
Emotional reasoning- You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are, e.g. “I feel so inadequate. I must really be hopeless.”
Should statements- You tell yourself that things should be the way you wanted or expected them to be. Characterised by the words “should,” “must,” “ought to” and “have to.” Should statements can be directed against yourself causing guilt and frustration, or they can be directed at other people causing anger and frustration.
Negative labelling – An extreme form of all-or-nothing thinking in which you attach a negative label to either yourself or another person that describes the person in an exclusively negative way, e.g. “I’m a loser”. If the label is directed against another person, eg “He’s just a S.O.B”, you feel that the problem lies with the person’s “character” or “essence” instead of with their thinking or their behaviour. You see them as totally bad. This makes you feel hostile or hopeless about improving things.
Personalisation and blame – Personalisation occurs when you hold yourself personally responsible for an event that isn’t entirely under your control. Blaming or scape-goating is the opposite: you blame other people or circumstances for your problems but overlook the part you might be playing in it.