Catastrophizing and Aspergers; How bad can it get?

I have been looking into risk assessment for my son. I don’t mean professional help, but something that can be useable for him. Something to help him to stop catastrophizing every area, and building them into unworkable thoughts and actions.
No easy task for either of us and something new that we didn’t know about, but are well aware of the end result.
Catastrophizing is when you believe something is far worse than it really is. There is the belief that you are the worlds’ worse failure and unworthy of even trying. If you think like this, you gain a really negative self-image. The second type is like the first but is based on your future and the thought process of what and how it will go wrong building around this and feeling that it is the reality. The thinking is ‘if it can go wrong, then it will’. This really limits your mind and what you can do. Hopelessness follows, and you can find yourself stuck in a negative rut going more and more frozen to try anything you ‘could’ fail or go anywhere as the worst will happen. This leads to being paralyzed within this negative destructive thought process.
Now for my son this has over time crept in more and more, and we are now at a place were we know it is the main focus. For people with Asperger’s it can be harder to explain what it is you are thinking, after all some of this is logical thinking. For my son, he has nut allergy so eating out or just grabbing something to eat is not easy. Someone else just eating an ice-cream next to him sends him into a blind panic. He has good reason behind this as if he eats nuts he goes into anaphylactic shock. No laughing matter for him. OK I have done a fairly good job at teaching him to be careful and how to inject himself should he need it. However, he needs to learn how high the risk is and what is safe, so say he is going shopping the chance of touching nuts is there, but not high. If he is at a party where bowls of nuts can be around, people eating them, then touching him the risk is much higher. This high alert thinking seems to have seeped into all thinking.
So how can we get from the catastrophizing everything to a more balanced view?
First, we have started to talk about what is catastrophizing and how he is doing this thought process. We are going to share and talk about it each time it happens for the next few weeks.
I hope he will keep a note of what he is thinking, and this will allow him to see how big this negative thought process has got.
I want to build-in a form of recorded risk assessment, getting this to a physical/ seeing level. I hope this allows him to see what is really going on not what he thinks is going on.
I hope to use:
Pro-active, what you can do in advance to stop harmful events or BİG negative thoughts.
Active measure, what he can do to handle the event or behaviours to stop any harm, or the downward spiral of his thoughts.
Reactive measures, what to do and how to do things before they are needed. Like he knows how to inject himself should he need to do this. I want him to start to catch and stop or slow down the negative spiral.
As my son sees in picture form, I hope to use this as well.


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