On Our Own of Prince George's County

Topics in Mental Health & Recovery

15 Common Cognitive Distortions
What's a cognitive distortion and why do so many people have them?

Cognitive distortions are simply ways that our mind convinces us of something that isn’t really true. These inaccurate thoughts are usually used to reinforce negative thinking or emotions — telling ourselves things that sound rational and accurate, but really only serve to keep us feeling bad about ourselves.

By John M. Grohol, Psy.D.
Psych Central

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Mind Traps
Cognitive Distortions in Thinking

Many feelings such as sadness, anxiety and anger are caused and kept alive by the conclusions that we make. Sometimes we make wrong conclusions over and over because we get stuck in mind traps that rob us of our ability to be logical. Here are some of the thinking traps we can fall into.

Adapted from: A. Beck et al. (1979, p. 261); J. Beck (1995, p. 119); Ubell (1984)

Bipolar World

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Seasonal Affective Disorder

Explains seasonal affective disorder, including possible causes and how you can access treatment and suport. Includes tips for helping yourself, and guidance for friends and family.


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Friendship and Health

Our friendships are among the most valuable relationships we have. We gain in various ways from different friendships. We may talk to friends in confidence about things we wouldn’t discuss with our families. Our friends may annoy us, but they can also keep us going.

Friendship is a crucial element in protecting our mental health. We need to talk to our friends and we want to listen when our friends want to talk to us. Our friends can keep us grounded and can help us get things in perspective. It is worth putting effort into maintaining our friendships and making new friends. Friends form one of the foundations of our ability to cope with the problems that life throws at us.

Mental Health Foundation (UK)

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How to Increase Your Self-Esteem

Explains how to increase your self-esteem, giving practical suggestions for what you can do and where you can go for support.


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How to Cope with Loneliness

As social beings, most of us feel the need for rewarding social contact and relationships. One common definition of loneliness is that it is the feeling we get when our need for this type of contact is not met.

However, loneliness is not the same as being alone. You might choose to be alone and live happily without much contact with other people. Or you may have lots of social contact, or be in a relationship or part of a family and still feel lonely.


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Volunteering and its Surprising Benefits
Helping Yourself While Helping Others

With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering are enormous to you, your family, and your community. The right match can help you find friends, reach out to the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career. Volunteering can also help protect your mental and physical health. Learn more about the many benefits of volunteering and find tips on getting started as a volunteer.

Authors: Joanna Saisan, M.S.W., Melinda Smith, M.A., and Gina Kemp, M.A.


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Advocacy - A Wellness Tool

As I have gotten more and more involved in this advocacy work, , I have discovered that for me - -perhaps not for everyone -- advocacy is a wellness tool. I need to include it in my TOOLBOX of things to do to keep myself well and to help relieve symptoms if I am feeling badly.

By Mary Ellen Copeland, Ph.D

Mental Health Recovery & WRAP®

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