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Thought Addiction Assessment

Updated on May 7, 2018
Dr Bill Tollefson profile image

My passion is to inspire and coach people to achieve what they want to get out of life.

Am I Addicted to My Thoughts?

Every day millions of people all over the world addicted to something in one form or another. Addictions cause suffering no matter the type. It does not matter what their culture, creed, or race as well as social status or economic level. Addiction strikes through the fabric of them all.

Different types of addictions people become addicted to are: 1. behaviors, 2. emotions, 3. substances, and yes thoughts as well.

Every Addiction Starts with Thought

Do you obsess over reoccurring thoughts?
Do you obsess over reoccurring thoughts? | Source

What is an addiction?

Addiction is unrealistic and unhealthy habitual attachment to a pattern of behavior, emotion, substance or thought which consumes or devastates someone’s life.

Addiction is the inappropriate use of something which produces a very toxic attachment or destructive relationship that does not serve the person and eventually will turn toxic.

Do you have this?

Thought Addiction is Powerful

Dark side of Thought Addiction
Dark side of Thought Addiction | Source

What is a Thought Addiction (TA)?

Thought addiction (TA) is a hidden addiction which affects millions of Americans. TA affects mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health. Unfortunately, many addiction professionals only work on the visible addictions, not the invisible ones.

Thought Addiction could cause sleepless nights, addictions, anger, anxiety, fear, frustration, stress, digestive problems, health issues, troubling relationships, doubt, tight muscles, headaches and yes even death (suicidal thoughts)?

Think about this statement “every addiction starts with a thought” no matter what kind of addiction.

The definition of thought addiction is the development and attaching to an intrusive, repetitive habitual thinking pattern to one thought or set of thoughts.

Thought addiction is the act of consciously returning to a negative, critical, harmful or destructive thought over and over again. This thought or thoughts that do not serve the individual decreases confidence wipes out esteem and has damaging results in one’s life. What accentuates an idea or causes thought to be harmful is when a statement comes from someone or group that you have an emotional attachment too. Most people enter into an addictive pattern to numb an emotion, stop a thought or control a perceived weakness.

A thought addiction depletes every system of the human body. Repetitive and unhealthy thoughts can deplete a person’s emotional, mental, physical and spiritual energy, leaving the person with nothing.

Thought addiction follows the same rules and progression of all other addictions.

A thought addiction or unhealthy thought looping can cause and expand into other toxic habits with a substance, shopping, food, exercise, emotion or behavior.

Consider that every addiction starts with a thought. For example: “I am not good enough, so I need something to help me” “This substance (thought, emotion, or behavior) will make me perform better, be more social, fit in, mentally escape, feel better or make me not feel at all.”

Once a person becomes sober, the original thought, which caused him or her to use, surfaces again because it was not dealt with or shifted, so relapse is possible. TA can also be the aftereffect of surviving any abusive, overwhelming or traumatic life event.

Forms of addicting thoughts:

· Anxious Thoughts

· Compulsive Thoughts

· Depressive Thoughts

· Diluted Thoughts

· Fearful Thoughts

· Obsessive Thoughts

· Negative Thoughts

· Ruminating Thoughts

· Self-defacing Thoughts

· Self-defeating Thoughts

· Self-limiting Thoughts

· Self-sabotaging Thoughts

· Sexual Thoughts

· Substance Thoughts

· Suicidal Thoughts

· Unwanted Thoughts

· Worrisome Thoughts

Thought Addiction Self Assessment

It is essential to understand what power a thought can have over you and how they can become so overwhelming. As you probably have experienced, harmful thoughts can be disruptive, destructive and go astray. It can seem as though your thoughts have a mind of their own and you have absolutely no control over them.

Assessment

I have developed this assessment to help you to recognize if you are headed toward a thought addiction. Stop and take this assessment for your peace of mind. This assessment will assist in identifying and learning if you are in danger of developing an unhealthy relationship with a thought.

Take out a piece of paper. On the left side of the sheet, write the numbers 1 through 20. As you read each question, put “Yes” or “No” next to the corresponding question number.

1. Do you periodically or constantly think about a thought or set of thoughts that alter your mood?

2. Do you have difficulty concentrating due to negative or seemly inappropriate thought(s)?

3. Do you have an inability to participate or function in your daily tasks because of a failure to stop a thought(s)?

4. Does a thought or set of thoughts keep you from feeling?

5. Is your thought content over 75% negative or do not serve you?

6. Does a thought or set of thoughts feel like they block you from succeeding?

7. Does a thought or set of thoughts keep you from investing in relationships?

8. Does a thought or set of thoughts cause you to self-sabotage your efforts to be happy or fulfilled?

9. Do you have a thought or set of thoughts that cause you to behave in ways you do not want to (acting out, emotionally reactive, self-harm or addictive behavior)?

10. Does a thought or set of thoughts cause you to reject yourself?

11. Does a thought or set of thoughts keep you from sleeping?

12. Does a thought or set of thoughts cause you to overeat or binge?

13. Does a thought or set of thoughts cause you to under eating or restricting?

14. Does a thought or set of thoughts cause you to over or under compensate in your life?

15. Does a thought or set of thoughts cause you to hate or reject all or a single part of your body?

16. Does a thought or set of thoughts cause you to deprive yourself of something?

17. Does a thought or set of thoughts cause you to say “No” to social invitations?

18. Does a thought or set of thoughts cause you to perform poorly at your job, school, social interactions or relationships?

19. Do you call off from work because you think you are too “depressed” to work or not good enough?

20. Does a thought or set of thoughts consume all your mental time during the day?

Thought Looping

Grade Your Score

Once you have completed all 20 questions on the assessment, add up all the “Yes” answers.

Evaluation

If you have four or lessYes” answers, you are experiencing typical thinking. Your thoughts do not distort or interfere with your mental life.

If you have answered five to eight “questions Yes” then the assessment indicates a low level or episodic of habitual thought looping. You could experience troublesome periodic mental looping. To gain a deeper understanding, you may want to review each question you answered yes, (one issue at a time) to increase your knowledge and what you might want to change.

If you answer from nine to fourteen questions with “Yes.” Then you are probably experiencing moderate thought looping and may be affecting you on a regular basis. Maybe you should address all the issues in each question that were answered with yes.

If you checked fifteen or more questions with “Yes.” then you are in the high range or addictive range. You are probably going through feeling as though you have loss of control of your thoughts, experiencing distorted ideas and your ability to efficiently function has been compromised perhaps decreased as well as your thinking.

You should seek help and support to reduce the effects. There is a good possibility that you could become more addicted if you do not take action. You might begin to substitute or act out your thought addiction with secondary addictions with substances, drugs (legal or illegal), emotions, food, exercise, as inappropriate relationships as well as destructive or self-harming behaviors to subdue the constant looping.

You Mind Directs your Life
You Mind Directs your Life | Source

Addressing the First Two Recovery Steps

There is hope no matter what your assessment score turns out to be.

Gaining knowledge about thought addiction through the assessment can empower you. The evaluation makes you more mindful of how you think and where it is helpful or harmful to your life.

First Step

The first step toward recovery from Thought Addiction is to surrender. You might think, “I will never surrender. Surrender is not what you would commonly think it is. Surrendering is “not giving up” or “knowing you are powerless” because you are not powerless. This first step is surrendering stepping out of the distorted thoughts that though addiction cause and grabbing mental clarity.

Second Step

The second step is to acquire a new skill to reduce the power of the looping thoughts, stop their cycle and shift to a new of thinking. Change is the act of putting into action a skill you have acquired to complete a specific task.

Take Away

To learn new skills that are available to stop habitual thought looping learn more by clicking on this link - http://drbilltollefson.hubpages.com/hub/Unblocking_Addictive_Thought_Patterns

If you have trouble making your first steps consider contacting a certified master life coach, holistic addiction recovery coach, therapist that specializes in mental programming or thought addiction (TA) professional. Look for an addiction expert, coach or therapist, who can walk you through the first couple steps of recovery from thought addiction and give you support.

Make sure professionals you pick can work out a customized action plan. The action plan should help you to be accountable while giving you encouragement, mentoring, skill development, guidelines, and structure.

It is possible to unblock the thought barriers in your mind allowing you to gain calmness, mindfulness, peacefulness, and serenity in your mind.

Positiveness and productivity can be achieved once you are in balance.

For more detailed information on Thought Addiction (TA), please click HERE

© 2011 Bill Tollefson

Comments

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    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Tollefson 

      4 years ago from Southwest Florida

      Thank you so much for reading this HUB. I am so glad that my HUB article helped you.

    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Tollefson 

      4 years ago from Southwest Florida

      Bill Rohr: Yes Q12 was about the same as Q16. I have changed it to make it a stronger assessment. Thank you for you question.

    • profile image

      Bill Rohr 

      5 years ago

      I like this article and the assessment.What is the difference between Q12 and Q16?

    • profile image

      Felini 

      5 years ago

      Fantastic to see your article. After 4 years of not being able to stop thinking negatively about an important situation that didn't go as well as I had hoped, I had a realization that I had developed a full time compulsion around engaging in these negative thoughts, long past any good it would do. It was the first thing I thought of waking up, and all day, and kept me awake a few hours almost every night. I don't have drug/alcohol addictions and could never understand having them, but for some reason the phrase "like a thought addiction" popped into my head last week and now I'm reading about it online. It's a relief I hadn't made it up! It's real. I scored nearly 20 out of 20 on your test. I'd get an "A." ;-) Just knowing that helps me to start unprying the grip of my thoughts. Thank you!

    • profile image

      Felini 

      5 years ago

      Fantastic to see your article. After 4 years of not being able to stop thinking negatively about an important situation that didn't go as well as I had hoped, I had a realization that I had developed a full time compulsion around engaging in these negative thoughts, long past any good it would do. It was the first thing I thought of waking up, and all day, and kept me awake a few hours almost every night. I don't have drug/alcohol addictions and could never understand having them, but for some reason the phrase "like a thought addiction" popped into my head last week and now I'm reading about it online. It's a relief I hadn't made it up! It's real. I scored nearly 20 out of 20 on your test. I'd get an "A." ;-) Just knowing that helps me to start unprying the grip of my thoughts. Thank you!

    • profile image

      femmeflashpoint 

      6 years ago

      Excellent article! I like what you advice on commanding thoughts rather than only attempting to control them.

      A perfect step to develop a good habit that can be hugely beneficial. :)

    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Tollefson 

      6 years ago from Southwest Florida

      Lady_E

      Thanks for the follow. The answer is "yes". "Superstitious thinking can become a thought addiction if the thought negatively alters behavior, constantly loops and does not serve the person. I really appreciate your support and follow.

    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Tollefson 

      6 years ago from Southwest Florida

      fucsia - Thank you for taking the thought addiction test and revealing your score. If you begin to command your thoughts, instead of attempting to control them then you can move your score down to zero.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 

      6 years ago from London, UK

      Very good and practical Hub. It also made me wonder if "superstitious" thoughts were addictive thoughts.

      Best Wishses

    • fucsia profile image

      fucsia 

      6 years ago

      Great Hub and interesting test... I have answered seven "Yes" but I want they become zero!

    • Dr Bill Tollefson profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Tollefson 

      6 years ago from Southwest Florida

      wysley - Insightful comment. I developed it to help others understand if TA is a problem for them. I think it is a very good self tool. If you can get to a thought before it spreads the better you have chance to stop it. Thank you for your comment.

    • wysley profile image

      wysley 

      6 years ago

      Great explanation of what a TA is and the impact it can have on one's life. The assessment tool is very comprehensive, covering multiple areas that a TA creeps into. Really gives a person food for thought. Finishing it with a positive spin that there are valuable resources available to help overcome a TA helps make this hub very informative and potentially life-changing by overcoming the insidious effects from being "addicted". Thank You!

    • kimh039 profile image

      Kim Harris 

      6 years ago

      Dr Bill, you can use the quiz capsule for this! (see the end of my suicide hub for an example)...and you can have a widget of your quiz to use on other sites... or better yet, other people can put the widget on their site. The quiz capsule will score automatically and can give feedback about the score such as "your responses indicate a low level of thought looping." I think you'll like the feature, but still this hub gets up, useful and interesting from me. Thanks.

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