Thinking errors: we all have them. They affect some people more severely than others. Individuals who struggle with substance abuse are particularly vulnerable to turning mild thinking errors into irrational thoughts (known as cognitive errors or distortions).
These distorted thought processes lead to intense emotions ranging from excessive hyperactivity/happiness to situationally inappropriate outbursts of anger. When this happens, the individual unknowingly isolates himself from members of society who view him as unstable.
Addiction Comes Next
What happens next isn’t a surprise. For several reasons — whether self-medication, stress or impulsivity — many of these individuals start using drugs and alcohol as a coping method. Although drugs and alcohol might seem like a temporary solution, they quickly become a primary source of relief.
The result of this thought process is none other than addiction. There are several types of thinking errors that play a powerful role in substance abuse and addiction.
Common Thinking Errors
The victim stance is a thinking error that employs a mindset of rationalization. The idea is that because you’ve been a victim of childhood abuse, a cheating spouse or any kind of negativity, you deserve the right to have a few (insert drug of choice here) every night to unwind.
Black and white thinking is one of the most common thinking errors, individuals with black and white thinking have an all-or-nothing perspective. For example, black and white thinkers might believe that they’ll “never get sober” or that they relapse is always imminent.
People who struggle with personalizing fall into a habit of believing that other peoples’ actions, whether intentional or not, are aimed at them.
Those with the perfectionist thinking error believe that they are totally competent in all they do. As a result, if they don’t immediately excel at something, they believe that it’s not by any fault of their own.
These are just a few of the thinking errors associated with substance abuse and addiction. Fortunately, our treatment team at Next Level Recovery can provide the type of research-backed treatment necessary for success.