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Restructure Your Way to Happiness: How to Cope with Social Anxiety and Depression
By Nick Lotz
28 January 2017
Hello, and thank you for reading, Dr. Worzelwortís Guide to Coping with Social Anxiety and Depression.
This book uses a technique cultivated by the revered psychiatrist Dr. Aaron Beck. Itís known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (hereafter referred to as CBT). The CBT approach to treating anxiety and depression is quite simple. It involves logging your thoughts and restructuring them. In CBT, we believe that you can control your thoughts and not your emotions. The chain of command when it comes to things goes somewhat like this:
4. Rinse, repeat!
Essentially, by utilizing CBT you can control your thoughts, thereby affecting your actions, which will in turn improve your emotions. Itís a simple process and begins with a step known as RESTRUCTURING.
RESTRUCTURING is when we log our thoughts, and then reframe them in such a way as to improve our mood and overall mental health. Letís start with a simple thought:
THOUGHT: I want to kill my boss because heís a fucking asshole.
Now letís look at this thought after itís been restructured by a CB Therapist!
RESTRUCTURED THOUGHT: Work is very fun! I love working and having jobs whereas murder puts me in jail!
Below weíve listed some thoughts and their subsequent restructured thoughts. Take a look at them and see for yourself just how effective CBT can be!
THOUGHT: Iím so hungry.
RESTRUCTURED THOUGHT: My diet is coming along nicely!
THOUGHT: I havenít eaten in three days.
RESTRUCTURED THOUGHT: My diet is coming along VERY nicely!
THOUGHT: They turned off the power in my apartment.
RESTRUCTURED THOUGHT: This is a great time to catch up on my reading!
THOUGHT: My credit cards are all maxed out and I canít afford to pay rent this month.
RESTRUCTURED THOUGHT: Urban camping has always sounded like so much fun and now is finally my chance to try it.
THOUGHT: Iíll go to the ATM one last time, but I know it wonít work. My account is over-drafted.
RESTRUCTURED THOUGHT: Itís always a good idea to go for a walk! A healthy body is a happy body.
THOUGHT: I passed out on the way to the ATM because Iím so hungry.
RESTRUCTURED THOUGHT: Finally got in those last few Zís!
THOUGHT: A dog peed on me while I was passed out.
RESTRUCTRED THOUGHT: Animals are so cute!
THOUGHT: This is a brand new shirt and now itís ruined.
RESTRUCTURED THOUGHT: Perfect excuse to go shopping!
THOUGHT: Thereís a scary man standing behind me at the ATM. I think he might try and mug me.
RESTRUCTURED THOUGHT: No need to fear! Heís probably just leering about because he also wants to use the ATM.
THOUGHT: This guy is punching me in the face and it hurts.
RESTRUCTURED THOUGHT: I enjoy being punched in the face!
THOUGHT: Oh my God, this guy just kidnapped me and locked me in a cage in his basement. Iím going to die here, all alone.
RESTRUCTURED THOUGHT: We all die a little bit every minute of the day! If itís my time to go, then itís my time to go.
THOUGHT: Heís pulling out all sorts of knives and sharp objects. Please, someone save me.
RESTRUCTURED THOUGHT: Maybe heís going to bake me something tasty to eat. Itís always best to give people the benefit of the doubt.
THOUGHT: Are those bones in the furnace over there?
RESTRUCTURED THOUGHT: He must cook quite often for his guests!
THOUGHT: OH GOD HE AMPUTATED MY LEG ABOVE THE KNEE AND IT HURTS SO BAD.
RESTRUCTURED THOUGHT: This is the perfect chance to join that wheelchair basketball team I watched that documentary about!
THOUGHT: THEREíS FUCKING BLOOD EVERYWHERE.
RESTRUCTURED THOUGHT: Red has always been one of my favorite colors!
THOUGHT: PLEASE DONíT FUCKING KILL ME!!
RESTRUCTURED THOUGHT: I am a polite guest that uses the word Ďplease.í
As you can see, even in the direst of situations, CBT can be a very useful tool when dealing with social anxiety, depression, and even physical damage to oneís body perpetrated by a psychotic serial killer who has trapped you in his basement-love-cage. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Dr. Worzelwortís Guide to Coping with Social Anxiety and Depression, please mail your affordable one time payment of $29.99 to 300 PRISON RD, REPRESA, CA (Please make all checks out to ĎCASHí).
Nick Lotz is a Cleveland State University student majoring in Film & Television studies. When not attending school, he is a music journalist for AltOhio.com. He has also been published on Cleveland Magazine, has had a short story published in local intercultural magazine The Vindicator, has written two unproduced screenplays and an unpublished novella (which he is currently rewriting), and is proficient in Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.