Cognitive Distortions of Depression

Depression contributes, and is maintained by common distorted thought patterns. It is a vicious circle, which keep us depressed.

This checklist is taken from the Wikipedia, “Feeling Good” book  and other sources, with some changes and additions. As you go through this list try to  identify these patterns that you tend to use. It may be an  eye opener: You will realize that what sounded like “the reality”,  is indeed very subjective. This is the first step to start controlling those thought patterns, and influence your mood. You may want to keep track of these thought patterns in a journal.

  1. Black and white thinking – No shades of grey. Thinking of things in absolute terms, like “always”, “every”, “never”.     If it is not perfect, it is a failure.
  2. Overgeneralization – Taking isolated cases and using them to make wide generalizations. Generalization from one detail , or aspect of a situation, to the whole situation.
  3. Mental filter – Focusing almost exclusively on  negative or upsetting aspects of an event while ignoring other positive aspects.
  4. Disqualifying the positive – Continually deemphasizing  positive experiences.
  5. Jumping to conclusions – Drawing negative conclusions  from little  evidence. Two specific subtypes:
    • Mind reading – Assuming you can read the feelings and thoughts of others. You know for sure what other people think of you, and of course is it negative.
    • Future reading –  Catastrophizing.  You expect the worst possible outcome, however unlikely. You ruminate about “What if”.
  6. Magnification and minimization – Distorting aspects of a memory or situation through magnifying or minimizing them such that they no longer correspond to objective reality.  If you are depressed, often the positive characteristics of other people are exaggerated and negative characteristics are understated. The reverse  happens when you think about yourself.
  7. Emotional reasoning – Accept your emotions as a valid evidence.  “I feel therfore it is true”. If you feel stupid , than you are  stupid.
  8. Should statements – You know the way things “should” be.  You have rigid rules which  always apply, no matter what the circumstances are. Using “should” statement  leaves you and others feeling preasured, guilty, and on the long run  jeopardizes any motivation for change. It does not allow you to be flexible and adapt to  changing circumstances.
  9. Labeling –  Rather than describing  a  specific behavior, you assign a negative  label to yourself.  it is not the action that was a mistake, you are the mistake. Frequntly, you judge others as harshly as you judge yourself.
  10. Personalization – Attribution of personal responsibility and guilt to yourself   for events over which you have no control.
  11. False expectations: Assuming that other people should be able to read your mind, without any need of your part to express your emotions and needs.  Assuming that your happiness depends on somebody else.

© Wikipedia
A depressed person

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Premature Ejaculation – Sex Therapy

First it may be useful to define what premature ejaculation is. Although it may seem self explanatory, one problem may be that you or your partner’s expectation of sexual stamina, often nurtured by popular culture, are unrealistic.

Usually, premature ejaculation is diagnosed when a man frequently  ejaculates sooner during intercourse than he or his partner wishes, either  before penetration or shortly after.

If you do suffer from premature ejaculation there are behavioral approaches to the problem and medication. While medication, such as SSRI, may help – they  are effective only while being taken. Once you stop taking the medication the effect also passes. The other downside of taking these medications is that you will need to cope with their side effects. This is why it is better to start with the behavioral methods rather than start with medication. Those can be added later if needed.

Contrary to common beliefs the behavioral approach does not involve either mental numbing, such as distracting yourself from the sensations, or physical numbing with some form of  numbing cream. Somewhat surprisingly, the most successful approaches involve heightening your awareness to your physical sensations, while maintaining physical relaxation. Only by increased awareness and mindfulness, you can learn to regulate better your arousal level, and hence your ejaculation.

These two  self help books teach the basic sex therapy techniques for dealing with this problem.
How to Overcome Premature Ejaculation

Coping With Premature Ejaculation: How to Overcome PE, Please Your Partner & Have Great Sex

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