Anxiety, Catastrophizing & ADHD

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“I always think the worst scenario is going to happen!”

According to Psychcentral.com, catastrophizing is an irrational thought a lot of us have in believing that something is far worse than it actually is. 

Yup, I relate to that! I never knew there was an actual word for it until I talked to my therapist about my anxiety issues! 

I’m really good at catastrophizing and I know it’s not in my best interest.  I am proud to say I’m getting better at not doing it so often. 

Recently, I was going through some old paperwork and found an article about Self-Esteem from a coaching class I took several years ago. Towards the end of the article they had several exercises to help you notice your strengths and successes. 

The last exercise was called: “ABCDE Disputation Exercise”. I want to share this exercise because it focuses on avoiding the tendency to catastrophize and I believe we all could use a little help in that area! 

  1. Adversity  - Identify a recent adverse event.

  2. Beliefs (What you say to yourself) Identify your interpretation of the event. 

  3. Consequences (Emotions and behavior that result from beliefs about adversity) What happened afterwards?

  4. Disputation - Dispute your beliefs, especially any catastrophic thoughts or over generalizations, view the event more realistically. 

  5. Energization - Focus that energy on making things better instead of reinforcing your pessimistic beliefs. 

There’s nothing easy about this exercise but it does allow us to be more aware and awareness is the first step towards change.

Thank you for your time and attention!

-Nikki