Black and white distortions

At a training session over the weekend I learned about cognitive distortions which was excerpted from a book. One of the most difficult distortions is that of black and white thinking. There’s a lot of this in Congress, where tea party politicians refuse to make agreements wit their opponents. That way, bills could get passed into law. The idiot speaker of the house proclaimed that he and fellow “lawmakers” should be judged based upon the number of laws that they repeal. That’s simple because the answer is zero. They have attempted to repeal a law, the Affordable Care Act, that they have no chance of undoing. At the same time they refuse to appoint members to a conference committee to draft a federal budget, exclaiming that whenever they compromise with Democrats, they end up losing.

Imagine if that was the rule of thumb of every day society. Someone I know asked a government agency to provide a particular service. The agency offered him a compromise  that would have been very similar to his original request. Instead, he shut down and declared that the agency was completely against him. Either you are with me or you have never done anything.

I think that there is plenty of room for give and take.  Although I reject the idea that I had a chemical imbalance in my brain,  we have dozens of examples from our consumers whose mental health declined soon after they stopped taking their medications and did not replace them with anything else therapeutic.

When I added a series of vitamins to my diet I felt better than I had in weeks. if you don’t believe in forced mental health treatment a reasonable compromise would be to undergo voluntary treatment if your wellness team recommended it. The team, which could include mental health clinicians, peer specialists, family and friends, could sit down with you to help determine a course of action. This could be treatment at home, going to a respite center or a licensed mental health facility. By going beyond black or white thinking we can help find wellness. As for Congress, that will be up to the voters to change.



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