Are you a catastrophizer?


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 03/09/2021 (394 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Are you the kind of person who goes from “it’s getting late and the person hasn’t called” to looking up hospitals online, in the blink of an eye?

Do you think you might not have done well on an exam, and conclude that you will never get a job and will end up living under a bridge?

Do you assume that every medical test is going to show life-threatening results?

This kind of thinking is called catastrophizing, and it is often associated with anxiety or depression, and sometimes with chronic pain as well. It can be quite debilitating, as the person can be paralyzed with fear over something many people would consider a minor inconvenience. However, it’s important to realize anyone can join this dance, especially in times of stress.

So what can be done about it?

If you find yourself spiralling in this way on a regular basis, you might want to speak with a medical professional. For those of us who do this occasionally, here are a few tips I found online that might be helpful.

Recognize it. When you find your mind jumping to the worst possible outcome, note to yourself that you are catastrophizing again. Take a deep breath.

Ask yourself questions. Is this catastrophic outcome I’m imagining really likely? Are there other possible outcomes that might not be so bad? Is this actually something I can handle? Take another deep breath.

Be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up when you realize you’ve gone down that rabbit hole again. It’s OK. You aren’t crazy.

Just breathe. Deep breathing will actually calm your parasympathetic nervous system and help you settle down. Keep it as your secret weapon!

I’d love to know your best tips for dealing with spiralling thoughts, if you are willing to share.

Hadass Eviatar is a community correspondent for West Kildonan. Check out her blog at:

Hadass Eviatar

Hadass Eviatar
West Kildonan community correspondent

Hadass Eviatar is a community correspondent for West Kildonan.

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