Examples of Maladaptive Cognition


“These racing thoughts / weird feelings of detachment / out of control feelings… must mean I’m going crazy!”, or , “I’m not getting air!… I’m going to pass out! … I must get out of here!”, or, “I’m having a heart attack!” (when the heart has been tested and is fine), or “I’ve got to pull the car over or else I’m going to lose control!”

Social Phobia:

“I don’t know what to say to people… They’re going to notice how uncomfortable I am…They’ll see my face turn red … my hands shaking … my voice tremble… and they will think I’m weak/weird, and won’t want anything to do with me!”

Generalized Anxiety Disorder:

“What if he was in an accident!” , “ What if this pain is an early sign of cancer!”, “What if I lose my job!”, “What if we can’t pay the bills!”


“I never do anything right…I’ve messed up so many things in my life…I feel like a total failure…I’m too depressed to even go for a walk…Whatever I try, I’ll just fail at it… Everything in the world is going downhill…Who would want to be around me …. No one really cares… What’s the use…I’ll never come out of this depression…”.


“I’m contaminated … have to wash my hands again…can’t take any chances.”, or “If I don’t go back and check, I’ll be responsible for starting a fire!”, or “Having that awful thought must mean I’m a bad person…(or) must mean I’ll lose control and do it!”


“I shouldn’t have to explain it to them a second time…Those people are so stupid!”, “How come everything in the world is so screwed up!”, “I hate getting stuck in these ridiculous lines…”, or “She/He is always doing that to me!” 

Relationship issues:

“She did that because she’s trying to control me.” “If he really cared, I wouldn’t have to ask him to help with the dishes.” “She never wants to do what I want to do”. “The best way to deal with him/her is to just avoid the whole issue.” 


Hear someone cough. “What if they’re going to vomit?”  Someone says they have stomach flu. “I wonder if I am going to be next?” “What if I throw up in front of everyone?”.

Eating Disorder:

“He doesn’t see my breasts or my waist or my hips. He only sees the nightmare.”  “How did I get like this?” “Being constantly hungry is no life at all.”

Depression Psychological Therapy