It is not events themselves that cause distress, but our understanding of those events. The central belief in CBT is that people become distressed due their unhelpful or negative thinking. It is this negative automatic thinking that helps to maintain distress.
Key features of unhelpful thinking in psychological distress are;
- Thoughts are automatic and often people are unaware of them
- When distressed, automatic thoughts are unhelpful. By this is meant that these thoughts can be negative, self critical, blaming, predicting of the worst case scenario etc.
- They are believable at the time of thinking them.
- Everybody has these unhelpful thoughts and they would upset anybody.
When people become depressed their thinking changes and takes on a selective bias.
People tend to think more about the past and particularly to think about negative things that happened in the past and in particular their role in those negative events. This is what is meant by a selective bias. As a result people begin to think about the present in the same negative way.
It is important to note that almost everyone thinks that only they feel this way, and it can be reassuring to know that this is something that happens to everyone.
The important thing is to begin to notice unhelpful thinking and learn to deal with it, and later when feeling well again to use this skill as a helpful way of preventing relapse.
Click here for some thinking styles from the Get Self Help website.
I am so depressed
I feel so low
No-one likes me
I can’t cope
What’s the point?
I am so angry
I just need someone to talk to
I can’t do this
Anne's Abseil (1)
Event Date: 05/05/2019
Anne is abseiling down Harlow water tower for her own personal reasons. 'We never know what will be dealt to us in life as we get on with our careers and bringing up our families. We meet those challenges as best we can and are lucky if we have support from family and friends to help us through t
Bath Half Marathon (1)
Event Date: 15/03/2020
I’m not a natural runner and as I write this I can barely wobble around a 5K, but I have taken the plunge to sign up to a half marathon and now I’m committed!
Ben's Parachute Jump (1)
Event Date: 29/05/2019
We would like to support the great work you do and help raise Mental health awareness.
Cycle to Southwold (1)
Event Date: 19/04/2019
In memory of Paul Heales
We are raising money for a worthy cause, raising a glass or two of Adnams to celebrate a great man. It's a social event that people can join in at any time or share a beer with us along the way or at the end.