Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mood Log/Blog

Good god.  It has come to this.  I'm reading a book about anxiety.  There are exercises.  I'm writing this down at the same time trying to squeeze out some security by hinting at the idea that "we" don't really need to be doing this reading at all, and that it is a forced activity/behavior.  Much like sobriety right?  Forced.   Anyway, so there are exercises in there, and guess what?  Taking a mood log in your head doesn't work.  You've gotta write it down if you want to sort of pinpoint some of the  items that are taking over.  here are some, in no particular order:

Depression: You tell yourself that you're a failure or that you've lost something important to your sense of self - esteem

Hopelessness: you tell yourself that problems will never be solved that your suffering will go on forever

Guilt: you tell youself that you're a bad person or that you've violated your own value system

Shame: you tell yourself that other people will see how bad, defective, or flawed you are and look down on you

Inferiority: you tell yourself that you're not as good as other people or not as good as you should be

Frustration: You tell yourself that other people or events should be the way you expect them to be.

Feeling Trapped: You must give into the demands of others.

Now I'm supposed to rate how strongly I feel these moods.  I feel shades of each mood, you know, nothing totally paralyzing, so nothing at 100 percent, for sure, but, likewise, nothing at 0 percent, either.

More advice: Avoid questions like "Why am I so anxious all the time?"

And now for the distortions:

1. All or nothing thinking
2. overgeneralization
3.Mental filter: dwell on the negative
4. Discount the positive
5. Jump to conclusions
6. Magnification and minimization: blow things out of proportion.
7. reason from feelings (emotional reasoning
8. should statements (using them!)
9. labeling yourself
10. Blame: find it instead of a solution.

I should mention that I'm taking these from a well written book, "When Panic Attacks" by David D. Burns, M.D.  who doesn't, by the way, totally buy into prescription drugs as a cure all, or the model that there are, for instance, serotonin imbalances that can and should be corrected. He doesn't discount these methods, instead focusing on a combination of a host of methods.  I'm writing a book review now? Have you even gotten this far? Have I even gotten this far?  More generalized thinking going on here.  Trying to write it all down.

Read a strong article on schizophrenia in Harper's magazine yesterday, or most of it.  Will try to find details.

Still reading?

Well, note that I think anxiety can be comforting, and that drinking might create anxious situations by allowing one to ignore responsibility, and/or to just create a very dramatic situation that has no easy answers, and then find comfort in this chaos--

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