Every time the Internet goes down, I panic and catastrophize the situation, always assuming one of the following:

  1.  Someone who hates me hacked my computer and/or sent me a virus so I can’t get Internet access.
  2. My computer is broken.
  3. My computer is broken because someone who hates me sent me a virus that destroyed my hard drive.
  4.  My computer is broken because someone hacked it and I will never be able to afford a new one.

Of course, it’s none of these things.  The Internet and my computer are both fine; last night Charter was just down for a few hours.  But of course, in my mind, it can’t ever be something minor and temporary.  It always has to be catastrophic and permanent.

24 thoughts on “Catastrophizing.

  1. I had a therapist who told me that I would often catastrophize and I wonder if it’s because things had always routinely gone wrong(someone else causing it). Do we expect things to go wrong because they have so much already?

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  2. I do exactly the same thing with my afult childten. If I haven’t heard from them in a couple of days, or they don’t immediately respond to my text, I am sure they have been abducted. So far they are just busy. Causes me much unnecessary anxiety.

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  3. I do the same thing . I think the response has something to do with limited income A thing that is an inconvenience for someone with means is a disaster for someone without means . if my car makes a funny noise I hypentilate because it’s doubtful I will ever be able to replace it same with computer glitches. I do think previous experience with loss and hardship plays into the anxiety

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    • I definitely agree with this. If my income was a lot higher, I don’t think I would panic so much, because I’d have the means to replace a broken computer. Same thing with my car. I panic when I get a flat tire, because replacing a tire, for me, is expensive.

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  4. My life had been repeatedly destroyed on every level, so I’m always recovering from something and replacing things and this all takes time, and money. I once had a friend tell me that he wanted me to have a better life, not a getting better life.

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    • I had a friend who always used to tell me, “this is a learning experience.” I remember exploding, saying, “I’m sick of learning experiences! When’s my $@%& life going to start?”

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  5. Shoo, you call that catastrophizing?? When the internet goes down — when the cell service goes out — and especially when the electricity goes out and then NOTHING is working, way deep down in the back of my mind I go straight to OMG WORLD WAR THREE HAS STARTED THERE HAS BEEN A NUCLEAR EXPLOSION IN THE ATMOSPHERE OVER THE USA AND NOW OUR POWER GRID IS DOWN PERMANENTLY!!!!

    See, that’s how you do catastrophizing.

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    • Uhm, sorry, I hope I didn’t give you more ideas about horrible things to worry about!

      I suspect that people who have had a parent try to gas the whole family to death, may have a tendency to catastrophize even worse scenarios than normal. Plus I haven’t even talked much about the time my dad stopped the car on the big tall Oakland Bay suspension bridge, pulled me out of the car and carried me over to the railing, chanting the whole time in a crazy psycho sing-song voice that he was going to throw me off the bridge into the water.

      So yeah, my worst case fears are usually REALLY bad. Plus when my dad was a preacher, during the Cuban missile crisis, he was preaching that the bombs were going to start falling and the world was going to end at any minute. This is why I can’t even watch the news anymore.

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      • I don’t know how we survived without the Great Google Oracle to answer all our questions. Just within the past few days I have needed to Google “how to keep feral cats out of the yard” — they are killing our nesting birds and terrorizing my stepdaughter’s small dogs — and “OMG I found a tick embedded in my arm, am I going to have Lyme’s disease?”

        Remember when we had to make do with an outdated set of 24 encyclopedia books? Dark ages!

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        • Isn’t it great? You can type anything, no matter how weird or obscure, into Google and find SOMEONE who thought about the same thing! Sometimes I feel like Google reads my mind too, because sometimes it fills in words even before I’ve typed them, as if it KNOWS what i’m thinking. The Google Oracle fits!

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          • Yup. The only problem I have had with Google is when I type in physical symptoms. Google has told me that either I or my husband had a fatal condition on five separate occasions. Thankfully, Google has been wrong so far about our imminent demise!


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