Ten Types of Cognitive Impairments

Cognitive thinking has to do with how you process information and what you do with that information.  Recently, while in a therapy session, my counselor gave me an excerpt from a book that deals with changing cognitive behaviors.

The following list are ten common cognitive impairments that can happen to almost everyone.  I post the list here, because having AS myself, I am guilty of every single one of these.  If you’re on Facebook and have ‘liked’ our page, feel free to contribute which ones you find yourself doing.

  1. All-or-nothing thinking – People that have a hard time seeing ‘grey area’ in conversation or while processing.
  2. Overgeneralization – Thinking that one bad occurrence of an event will result in future occurrences happening the same way.
  3. Mental Filter – Picking out a single detail with a situation or discussion and amplifying it.
  4. Disqualifying the positive – Transforming non-negative experience into negatives; a common colloquialism is being “unable to take a compliment”.
  5. Jumping to Conclusions – Coming to conclusions without any rational justification or proof.
  6. Magnification and Minimization – Magnification is when you take a small menial event and amplify it unnecessarily.  Minimization is when you take something profound and minimize the impact, making it seem insignificant.
  7. Emotional Reasoning – Taking emotions as evidence of the truth.  Occurs most often when someone comes to you for advice while crying incessantly; emotional reasoning would be to assume that the crying person is innocent of the problem that they’re dealing with.
  8. ‘Should’ statements – When ‘should’ statements are made that make you feel unnecessarily pressured or resented.  It’s also another form of a guilty trip.
  9. Labeling and Mislabeing – Taking every little occurrence in life and assigning it a label or association.
  10. Pesonalization – You assume responsibility for a negative even when there’s no basis for doing so.

Being that Asperger’s Syndrome is on the autism spectrum, we’re all different in how we function.  Some cognitive impairments may not apply to you, but may apply to somebody else.  Many of these impairments are common in those with depression and/or low self-esteem, but Aspies can also find themselves struggling as well.


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