Book for toxic thinking?
April 1, 2013 10:43 AM   Subscribe

Hello all. I have been struggling with anxiety and depression for the last 9 years. It even led me to develop an addiction. I have kicked the addiction, but now I cant seem to change my way of thinking. Does anyone know of any good books or workbooks that changed their toxic thinking habits? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
posted by Truts83 to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
I'm reading Feeling Good right now. It's one of the most well-known and regarded books on this subject. So far I think it's helpful and sensible.
posted by latkes at 10:47 AM on April 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

I liked the concept of Do One Thing Different (, but really want to emphasize that this book (like a lot of self improvement guides) does not at all acknowledge that there can be a biochemical component to anxiety or depression. You might not see a change in your thoughts and your anxiety without medication.
posted by spunweb at 11:02 AM on April 1, 2013

You might find "Mind Over Mood" helpful. It's a CBT workbook.
posted by snailparade at 11:36 AM on April 1, 2013

The popular book is David D. Burns Feeling Good. McKay and Fanning Self Esteem is similarly worth looking into. Both speak to persisting mind habits, among other things.

One of the pioneers of cognitive therapy was psychologist Albert Ellis, and his thought echoes loud throughout many popular therapeutic methods. He was quite down to earth, as I recall.

Are you in North America? CBT is the common approach in the States, while South America and Europe support other forms of psychological inquiry (the psychoanalytic traditions) that might resonate more with you and your culture.

And consider looking into basic social psychology and sociology to understand how our selves are influenced by, and likewise influence, society and culture. None of us are ever solitary.
posted by methinks at 11:44 AM on April 1, 2013

Things Might Go Terribly, Horribly Wrong: A Guide to Life Liberated from Anxiety. It's a decent read, and there are "games" instead of exercises.

It is based on ACT.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 1:55 PM on April 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

I like Seligman's Learned Optimism. It helped me. Note there's a lot of theory and back story before you get to the self help part, which I found useful, but might annoy some folks.

Feeling Good had some good ideas but also a lot that I just couldn't swallow. It definitely didn't speak to me the way Seligman's books do.

These are cheap books bought used, or you can probably get from your library, so you could try both and see which one was more your style.
posted by mattu at 2:35 PM on April 1, 2013

ACT has helped me a lot. I could never change my toxic thinking CBT-style, no matter how hard I tried. ACT takes a different approach. You notice the toxic thought, accept that it is there, and decide if you want to listen to it or do something you value instead. After years of inner struggle, it's a very peaceful process.

I'm reading The Happiness Trap now. The link goes to the author's site, which has a number of resources you can check out. Good luck!
posted by Tall Telephone Pea at 8:21 PM on April 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

I found Thinking Fast and Slow to be quite helpful. While it's not a CBT/psychology book, more behavioral economics, the two basic thought systems and the way they interact to create behaviors really resonated with me and I was able to see the mechanics behind the thoughts I was having. It was like seeing the man behind the curtain.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:57 PM on April 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

I used the Anxiety and Phobia Workbook years ago - it walks you through the process of improving your thinking step by step. It was practical, straightforward, and helpful.
posted by hms71 at 9:36 PM on April 1, 2013

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