Catastrophizing is something I’m very good at. It paralyzes me painfully and damages my daily life. I’m aware of the problem and some of how it affects me. I’m not yet good at reversing it or ignoring it or even of not doing it in the first place.
Catastrophizing is the habit of automatically assuming that everything is going to go to hell and acting accordingly. It is assuming that problems will always end badly. Assumptions and conclusions are magnified well beyond what is reasonable.
We catastrophize when we predict that everything will have a negative outcome; it is jumping to the conclusion where a negative outcome is always inevitable. When I catastrophize I lock myself into helplessness. I ruminate over my imagined trouble and I become hopeless. I catastrophize, and then immediately magnify everything.
Ruminate – Helpless – Magnify
My youngest daughter is going to be 18 June 23rd. She and her best friend have decided to move into a room in a duplex now instead of waiting until fall when school starts. I’ve been catastrophizing nearly nonstop. Over what? Mostly over their not being able to afford it. I can’t help them if they run out of money.
Ok, let’s say they can afford rent, what about food and other costs of living? Neither girl is working full-time. The friend is working part-time, but my daughter isn’t even working 15 hours a week. I’m in a panic over the whole thing. My daughter assures me that her average of 2 hours Tuesday thru Friday is going to increase. As a matter of fact, she says, she’s being trained every day to work in the lab. (She works in a dental office.) My opinion is that you should not count on money you don’t already have. I think they should wait until they know how much she will be making… for real.
I imagine that the girls believe they won’t run across a deal like this again, and maybe they wouldn’t. But that doesn’t mean they can afford it. I see a eating a lot of noodles in the future. (This also worries me because my daughter is skinny and can’t afford to lose any weight. This has been a problem for years.)
Money for school in the fall will be disbursed at the end of September for student housing. That’s a long time to wait to have more money for housing.
Am I catastrophizing ? Or am I being cautious? And… how is my Bipolar affecting my thoughts and feelings?