Overriding Defensiveness

When people feel emotionally vulnerable, whether from depression, anxiety, or conflict in a relationship, they all too easily start making the malicious assumption in response to something their partners say or do. The malicious assumption refers to the tendency to automatically interpret communications or actions in the most negative, critical way possible. More often than not, the malicious assumption grossly misinterprets the true meaning of the message. Here's a common, concrete example of...

Discovering the Problem Isnt All About

When someone you care about is angry or distraught, you may think that the upset relates to you in some way. This assumption is natural but not always correct. When you wrongly take responsibility for your partner's emotions, you engage in personalizing. And when you personalize, you're likely to feel distressed and just may become defensive or counterattack (see Overriding Defensiveness for more on those reactions). It's often the case that when people get upset, it has very little to do with...

Worksheet 78Hannahs Childhood Origins of Life Lenses

Unworthy This life-lens doesn't apply to me. My mother always made me feel like our family was better than others. I have to admit she spoiled me, too. Abandonment-fearful This life-lens doesn't really fit. Although I was told I was special, I never felt anyone listened to me. Whenever I was sad or lonely, my parents told me how lucky I was to have all the toys, clothes, and luxuries I did. I decided it was better to never need anyone. My family was incredibly concerned about how we looked to...

Worksheet 310 My Analyzing Advantages and Disadvantages Form

Now, read over the advantages and disadvantages you've listed for each change-blocking belief. Reflect on the advantages, and you're likely to see that they actually aren't all that advantageous. Weigh the pros and the cons of holding onto your beliefs, and write all your reflections in Worksheet 3-11.

Not Letting Relapse Sneak Up on

With relapse, subtle signs may start to appear and go unnoticed. Then, suddenly, you find your problems have returned, possibly even worse than before. We don't want relapse to get the best of you, so we recommend that, after you've recovered from anxiety or depression, you conduct a review of your emotions and feelings on a weekly basis. Over time, you can reduce the frequency of these reviews to once every month or two as your risk of relapse becomes less and less. To review your emotions and...

Recording Information Reality Scramblers on Thought Trackers

Tracking your thoughts and looking for distortions in them helps clear your thinking, which in turn starts improving your mood. Before you get to work on your own Thought Tracker, see what Bradford (see Worksheet 5-2) and Sheila (see Worksheet 5-3) discover when they track their thoughts and analyze them for reality scramblers. Feelings and Sensations (Rated 1-100) Despondent (70), anxious (65) tightness in my chest My boss said we had to increase our productivity. I hate this job. The boss...

Pleasure Busters

Ideally, you found a nice list of pleasurable activities from our Nifty 50 Checklist (see Worksheet 11-1) and were able to insert them into your regular life without too much trouble. However, we know that many people don't find this task so easy to do. Emotional distress and especially depression cause distorted thinking (see Chapters 5, 6, and 7 for the lowdown on distorted thinking). In this section, we zero in on the thoughts that are most likely to interfere with your efforts to increase...

Having a Fire Extinguisher Ready

Hopefully, you don't wait for a fire to start before you make a plan for dealing with it. Fire drills save lives, as do rehearsals of how you'll deal with relapse. Approaching the potential of relapse as you would the potential for fire can save you a lot of grief and prevent relapse. Worksheet 17-2 lays out the early warning signs you should look out for. In Worksheet 17-3, we list a few of the common events that trigger emotional distress. Read through the list, thinking about which events...

Worksheet 35Jasmines Reflections

I can see that I do have some of these change-blocking beliefs. I guess I've always thought that this is just the way my life is. But now that I reflect on it, I guess I can see how these beliefs could get in the way of doing something about my problems. Nothing is going to change if I hold on tightly to these assumptions. But what can I do about them In the next section, Jasmine sees what she can do about her problematic beliefs. But before jumping to her resolution, try filling out your own...

Actions Against Angst Behavior Therapy

It's just a little device I use to Kelp relieve the anxiety iron* meeting nevi people ' M ne approach to fighting depression and anxiety is by changing your behavior. By changing what you do, you can change the way you feel. We guide you step by step through methods for overcoming fear and anxiety. Furthermore, we provide encouragement for engaging in healthy and pleasurable activities. People who are emotionally upset usually find themselves unable to solve many of their everyday problems....

Worksheet 22My Emotional Origins

Questions About Mother (or other caregiver) 1. What was my mother's personality like 4. Was she overly critical or supportive 6. Were there special circumstances (for example, illness, death, divorce, military service, etc.) 7. Does anything else important about her come to mind, whether positive or negative Questions About Father (or other important caregiver) 1. What was my father's personality like 4. Was he overly critical or supportive 6. Were there special circumstances (for example,...

Foreword

l ot long ago I wrote the following foreword for the book, Depression For Dummies. V As the current Anxiety amp Depression Workbook For Dummies is a companion to that book as well as Overcoming Anxiety For Dummies, I believe the previous foreword is both germane and worth repeating, followed by some specific comments about the current work. I am very pleased that Drs. Charles Elliott and Laura Smith have reviewed and distilled the scientific literature on the treatment of depression for the...

Poisonous Pleasures

We don't want you taking this pleasure idea too far. Pleasure's great, of course, but some pleasures can get you into instant trouble, and other pleasures, when taken to extremes, can be dangerous or unhealthy. Thus, we'd be remiss if we didn't make note of the dangers some pleasures hold. Watch out for 1 Drug abuse 1 Prostitution 1 Alcohol to excess 1 Hanging out with bad company 1 Sleeping to excess 1 Watching television endlessly 1 Overeating 1 Sexual promiscuity 1 Excessive caffeine...