Chat Now!   Member Gallery    Member Articles    Games   Member Groups   Member Blogs   Health News    Bored?

Author Topic: does anyone doubt that their thoughts are rational?  (Read 315 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline blueeyes

  • Just Joined!
  • Posts: 2
  • Rec's: 0
  • Gender: Female
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
does anyone doubt that their thoughts are rational?
« on: February 01, 2013, 05:24:00 AM »
Hi, I am new here. I don't know if anyone has asked this before. I've been working through cbt trying to replace negative thoughts with more realistic, rational ones. However, I've lately been worrying that the rational thoughts I've come up with might not be rational after all. How do I know if the new thoughts are actually more likely?

I've been struggling with anxiety for about 20 years. I have two children and I'd like another one. Two years ago my husband suggested that if I had another one, then I might have to give up my job. This drove me crazy with worry. I had a bad experience when I was younger that has left me with a terror of not having a job. Even the remotest possibility of having to give up my job has stopped me having another child. The difficult thing is that one of my children has Down's Syndrome and I worry constantly about being old and lonely if my other child died.

I have been seeing a psychologist for nearly a year to try and work out what to do. She has been helping me with CBT. Recently my husband and I got to the point of trying for a baby. Then I had a panic attack and couldn't carry on. I have then been flipping from panic attacks about my job to attacks about my child dying.
I have decided to try the cbt again, but am now worrying that the rational thoughts my psychologist and I have come up with are not actually rational at all and that the likelihood of having to give up my job is high. I can't see myself trusting my thoughts enough to try for another baby again and I am finding it so distressing. How do I really know if I'm worrying about something that won't happen, or is very unlikely to happen. I can't trust myself!

Sorry for this really long post, but I have struggled with this so long and this decision is so important.
Bookmark and Share

Offline Cuchculan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10770
  • Country: ie
  • Rec's: 167
  • Gender: Male
    • Poke This Member
Re: does anyone doubt that their thoughts are rational?
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2013, 05:49:47 AM »
That is the whole basis of CBT. Rational thinking versus Irrational thinking. When in a state of anxiety our thoughts are mainly irrational. We think the worst case senario. We think of all the bad things that can possibly go wrong. That is all irrational thinking. It is up to us to stop ourselves and correct how we think. Put a bit of rational thinking in there. Why should these things actually happen to me? What proof is there to show me that this will really happen. Simple case of changing how we think. Irration to Rational. Rational should help you relax more. Irrational are the odd thoughts we all have at one time or another.
Bookmark and Share
The Lovable Irish Rogue

Offline Happy sailing

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 170
  • Country: ca
  • Rec's: 1
  • Gender: Female
  • Mood: Flirty
    Flirty
  • I sought the Lord He delivered me from all my fear
    • Poke This Member
Re: does anyone doubt that their thoughts are rational?
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2013, 02:32:45 PM »
BlueEyes- 
I understand what you are saying.... I have wondered about the same thing!  Like, some thoughts are obviously irrational, and easily dismissible.  However, there are some worries that seem really rational, since, like you said, either HAVE happened before, or the possibility is higher than the obvious "whacked" thoughts.
I have struggled with that idea as well.  I think all the therapy methods you use, including distraction would help.  Maybe saying something like, the probability of that happening is low, and instead I am going to enjoy what I do have.  Then use your distraction techniques.  ;D
Hope this helps.  Let me know how it goes.  :winking0008: 
Maybe some others have some input?   :bigsmile:
Bookmark and Share
Wiiliam Shakespeare :       
“Frame thy mind to mirth and merriment, which bars a thousand harms, and lengthens life”

Offline LindaRK

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2622
  • Country: us
  • Rec's: 35
  • Gender: Female
  • Mood: Loved
    Loved
  • Personal text
    • Poke This Member
Re: does anyone doubt that their thoughts are rational?
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2013, 03:08:15 PM »
I've had anxiety for over 35 years ...... I can honestly say that having my hubby by my side in keeping me on that "rational" path has helped immensely.

His favorite word for my thinking is "distorted". 

I will say, though, that even having someone to bounce thoughts off of and keep me on track, I still second guess that maybe he's the one who is being irrational.  LOL  Oh, the life of one with anxiety ..... such a challenge.
Bookmark and Share

Offline Fireraiser

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 77
  • Country: nz
  • Rec's: 1
  • Gender: Female
    • Poke This Member
Re: does anyone doubt that their thoughts are rational?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2013, 01:28:27 AM »
I absolutely think that my thoughts aren't rational.  I haven't been on here in a long time, but your post made me realise that I do doubt my thoughts.  But I am sure that your can doubt your thoughts and still be okay.  I could be wrong, but I think it is how we are wired when it comes to anxiety that we will doubt ourselves.  But if we know that then we can counteract it, and having someone to bounce these idea of, does help.
I hope this is of some help to you.
Bookmark and Share
How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterward

Offline coeus

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 368
  • Rec's: 9
    • Poke This Member
Re: does anyone doubt that their thoughts are rational?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2013, 05:35:19 AM »
First of all, welcome to the forum blueeyes :)

How do I know if the new thoughts are actually more likely?

The funny thing is that is more or less an inquisitive question that arises from unaddressed anxiety. The best thing to do is to see rationalisation as a natural process, not something that is linear. That is, new thoughts and new behaviours are formed naturally and it's about exploring them as they come along. Thus, it's takes an attitude of curiosity to see cognitive change as organic.

I have decided to try the cbt again, but am now worrying that the rational thoughts my psychologist and I have come up with are not actually rational at all and that the likelihood of having to give up my job is high. I can't see myself trusting my thoughts enough to try for another baby again and I am finding it so distressing. How do I really know if I'm worrying about something that won't happen, or is very unlikely to happen. I can't trust myself!

It's very good that you're continuing therapy; it's one of the best things you can do to improve your mental well-being. One of the things you would have learned for psychoeducation in CBT is the recognition of certain thoughts. There isn't some measurement that allows us to really know what's truly rational or not. Decastrophisation of those events you see, e.g. "likelihood of having to give up my job is high", is quite good for these situations by asking yourself 'what-if' that would happen, then what? Let's you really examine how you've assessed the situation and estimation of it.

Another technique that you may discuss with your therapist is cultivating acceptance towards your thoughts. Using mindfulness meditation can help cultivate exposure to anxious thoughts through acceptance and non-judgmental awareness of your thoughts and its content. This doesn't happen overnight but it's highly useful in managing thoughts that could cause anxiety. A quick judgment meditation (Siegel, 2010) is noted below:

Quote
This one usually requires only 10-15 minutes to get the point. Sit down as you would for breath meditation and follow your breath for a minute or two. Then begin to watch your thoughts. Every time a judgment arises, silently label it "judging". Once you're done, jot down your observations about the judgments/thoughts.

Note that you don't struggle to rationalise it or describe it as whether it's irrational/rational - just seeing those judgments as judging and letting them be. Hope this helps.
  • Siegel, R.D. (2010). The Mindfulness Solution: Everday Practices for Everyday Problems. The Guilford Press: New York.
Bookmark and Share

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
37 Replies
19006 Views
Last post February 16, 2011, 06:05:35 PM
by lotinlife
23 Replies
1512 Views
Last post August 24, 2009, 03:03:36 PM
by puntnf4
9 Replies
1530 Views
Last post October 26, 2009, 12:13:13 PM
by worriedsick
4 Replies
639 Views
Last post May 18, 2012, 12:19:51 AM
by anlee
2 Replies
250 Views
Last post June 18, 2012, 05:48:34 PM
by deeferlynn

anything