The Habit of Catastrophizing

15 Aug

Catastrophizing is a mental health term. It is an irrational thought a lot of us have in believing that something is far worse than it actually is. Catastrophizing can generally can take two forms.

The first of these is making a catastrophe out of a situation. This kind of Catastrophizing takes a current situation and gives it a truly negative “spin.” For example, my mother assumed that my life was over because I had surgery. Deep down, she hoped that I would not be able to swim again and she thought my life was over. the truth is that my new hip is now the strongest part of my body and I have not an a ounce of pain in it.

The second kind of Catastrophizing is closely linked to the first, but it is more mental and more future oriented.This kind of Catastrophizing occurs when we look to the future and anticipate all the things that are going to go wrong. We then create a reality around those thoughts (e.g. “It’s bound to all go wrong for me…”). Because we believe something will go wrong, the enemy helps us to make it go wrong.

Falling prey to Catastrophizing is often connected to a demon of fear. Both of these types of Catastrophizing limit your opportunities in life, work, relationships and more. It can affect our entire outlook in life, and create a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure, disappointment and underachievement.

Both may lead you to self-pity, to an irrational, negative belief about any situation, and to a feeling of hopelessness about your future prospects. Further, both of these types of Catastrophizing will define either the presence or absence of alternative possibilities, and possibly paralyze you from going further with efforts toward your goals in life.

I am one who always has options and if I can’t find one, I wait on God to create one.

For example,If I was one who catstrophized, RESCUE would not exist. the truth is that I Was a preacher for 25 years who suddenly found herself without a church home. I did not go running to a different denomination even before I received the revelation that the enemy has all pulpits under his belt.

As quiet as I keep it, church experience as a pastor was horrific for me.I don’t even discuss some of the low down things that happened to me as a pastor, at the hands of the sheep. Yet I am I n here, trusting myself to you guys, not worried that any one of you is going to put me down permanently for the count.

Do you catastrophize?

8 Responses to “The Habit of Catastrophizing”

  1. JewelAtRescue June 1, 2020 at 7:51 pm #

    Pastor Pam makes it plain. We can sometimes make mountains out of molehills. It is easy to make mistakes bigger than what they actually are. I look at it this way “what is worst that could happen?” I love this what Pastor Pam said “ I am one who always has options and if I can’t find one, I wait on God to create one.


  2. Anonymous September 2, 2015 at 2:53 pm #

    Well this seems to be a fitting topic for me. Yes, I do have a tendency to do this but mine has always been in relationships. Sometimes it’s hard when you have been brought up a certain way to deal with not doing that. However I think the healthier you start to become the more you can see how toxic people can be to each other but also for me there has always been guilt in failing. What I am realizing is that sometimes its just not going to work and you have to let go. The enemy wants to hang that over your head and use it against you. Only God can fix another person and only God can fix us. Truth hurts but sometimes you just have to quit, count the loss and move on.


  3. Pam Sheppard Publishing August 19, 2015 at 11:10 am #

    Comment from B. Sallis

    Yes, I do catastrophise. A combination of 1 & 2. Where just out of habit of so many things happening I’m aware of it, I just wasn’t thinking of it as that’s what I was doing. Where I thought I was in survivor mode, I was going through life like a crash dummy!

    With #1 Feeding #2, then looping around to #1. Sort of a Nostradamus effect. Not to stay stuck in the problem. I like what Christina, Jules, and Gloria are saying.

    1. Stop worrying about things I can’t control. No catastrophising God’s got it.

    2. Hope is for now and the future, not just someday by and by. When the true Jesus brings the light, it automatically dispels the darkness. Let it go.

    3. When fear hits, counter it with facing it, and asking myself whether I can handle it when it occurs. I didn’t realize it but I was doing it off & on. I just wasn’t aware of what I was doing.


    • Anonymous August 31, 2015 at 5:09 am #

      Yes. I just did it again with the links I recently sent in. I automatically went into survivor mode again. I didn’t think it at the time, but I fell for Type 2 Catastrohising. No defending myself here. Even being called on it and seeing it after the fact is better than not wanting to see it at all. Type 1 is in there too. I did give in to fear.

      The truth hurts sometimes, but it will heal when I let it. I want to learn to see the good in all situations and learn from this. A surgeon sometimes has to cut a wound open to remove what’s bad. It might hurt for a sec, it’ll heal too but I have to let it. I’m catching what you’re saying about walking in faith being supernatural. Not as much having more faith, just excercising the faith I have. And not making things out to be as bad as I sometimes see them? So there is some progress here?


  4. christina51193 August 17, 2015 at 9:13 pm #

    I think I catastrophize about things I am unsure about. Uncertainty and things being out of my control makes me panic, and not knowing what the future holds sometimes as far as salvation goes. I find though that if I start worrying about it my mind goes down a dark slippery slope and it’s hard to get out of, and I end up regretting having that thought pattern. I think you have to stop worrying about things you can’t control and catastrophizing and expecting the worst.


    • tinalynn8 November 30, 2016 at 11:30 am #

      YES if we trusted Him about what it is He actually says IS catastrophizing and sin, we would have OUR expectations IN HIM and the possibilities and provision HE brings into our lives..instead o0f fear -based “WHAT iFS!”

      Liked by 2 people

  5. jules0123 August 16, 2015 at 9:55 am #

    I used to believe that there was no hope in this world and so I was stockpiling things. I believed in doom and gloom.The true Christ brings light to his elect that he calls. I came to see that hope is not only for the future but it is in the present.


    • gloria115 August 16, 2015 at 10:39 am #

      i like this! especially “end time revelations” can lead to depression, esp for those who catastrophise.

      One way am dealing with this is to fight back irrational negative thoughts by countering them.

      I also like the idea of facing fear straight on, and ask yourself whether you can handle the issue if it occurs, this removes a person from a helpless “i am a victim” state to being proactive and create the different options you can take if something happens.


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