Want to see a stunning example of disordered thinking? Here’s the thought process that was going through my head last night before I went to sleep:

I don’t need Therapist. I’m going to show her how much I don’t need her. I’m not going to go to my next session, but I’m not going to cancel. When I don’t show up and she texts me to see whether I’m coming or not, I’m going to ignore her. If she rings, I’m going to ignore that too. I’m going to leave her stew. I’m going to make her properly worry. She doesn’t give a shit anyway. I’m just a client, as soon as I walk out the door she’s forgotten about me. I’m not important, she’s just tolerating me. Fuck her. Who does she think she is telling me I don’t need weekly sessions? I want her to be worried about me. I want her to look after me. I want her to tell me everything will be ok, that I need to look after myself, to look worried for me. So I’ll go under the radar for a while. That’ll show her. 

And on. And on. And on. And on, in smaller and smaller circles until I finally fell asleep. And back into my head every time I’m not distracted. It makes no sense. I know it’s disordered thinking. I know it’s come up because she’s told me I’m ok to manage without a session next week and separation is a trigger. I know that come our next appointment, I’ll wrestle, really wrestle with whether or not to go, but ultimately I will go, because the thought of not seeing her at all is too hard. But then I’ll be bringing all of the above anger with me, and I won’t want to speak to her. I’ll want her to know all of it without my having to say anything. I’ll want her to give me all the reassurances I’m looking for, but she won’t. She can’t keep doing it, because it’s not helpful any more.

I know all this. I understand all this. But I don’t feel it. Emotionally I’m still caught up in the vicious thought process above. She keeps telling me that emotions take longer to catch up with understanding. I really, really hope they catch up soon, because this kind of thinking, apart from being an utterly fruitless waste of time, is exhausting.

This article has 2 Comments

  1. This sort of thinking is so common with depression – I used to have similar thought processes.

    What helped me through it was CBT. I still remember reviewing my journal after a week of CBT and thinking, "Oh my word – do I really think that way?"

    After a few weeks of challenging those negative thoughts though, it became easier and easier to switch my focus and become more positive. I know it sounds like something Yoda would preach, but being mindful of your thoughts is key to identifying which of them need tackling. You are obviously mindful of them, which is the first step in being able to control them.

    1. Thanks James. I'm definitely getting better at it but my god has it taken a long time! To be honest I never real found CBT all that helpful, it just made me feel worse for not being able to turn my thoughts around, or continuing with the disordered thinking, but I think that's been as much a part of the bpd as it has depression. DBT, self validation, recognising disordered thinking for what it is. It's all helping. As are supportive comments like this!

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