Catastrophising: More Characteristics of C-PTSD

Catastrophizing – Catastrophizing is the habit of automatically assuming a “worst case scenario” and inappropriately characterizing minor or moderate problems or issues as catastrophic events.


Catastrophizing is sometimes referred to as “over-reacting”.

There are different motivations a person with a personality disorder may have for catastrophizing:

  • To draw attention to themselves,
  • To draw attention away from another issue,
  • To navigate unsuspecting bystanders towards a “desirable” course of action,
  • To “punish” or hurt another individual for a perceived hurt,
  • To justify an action which might otherwise be viewed as inappropriate,
  • To produce a desired reaction or response from an individual.

Examples of Catastrophizing:

  • A mother who habitually rushes her child to the emergency room in response to a minor accident or illness.
  • A friend who contemplates suicide in response to making an unwise purchase.
  • A spouse who accuses their partner of infidelity when they strike up a conversation or friendship with a member of the opposite sex.
  • A person who feels abandoned when their partner is a few minutes late for a date.
  • A sibling who describes “wants” as “needs”.

3 responses to this post.

  1. This would describe my mom and brother. Everything is the “end of the world. Again.” Except for the medical thing for kids. That was ignored. Their philosophy was “if a kid can still cry, scream, get up and run – then they’re not hurt enough to need a the doctor.” Ever.

  2. Some have an angry cloud that follows them

  3. Posted by Jim Doyle on December 19, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    This has followed me all my life:” Oh,Jesus Christ Almighty”! Etc.,etc. Dear mama
    would scream at top of voice—–why? Oh,well,a terrible little drop of milk was spilled,
    phone the emergency services!!! Seriously,this is one hell of a thing to overcome
    when one has watched and heard it EVERY SINGLE DAY as a child.

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