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Michael Palma

Michael Palma is a drug addict in recovery who is passionate about recovery and recently has taken to writing about his own experience, strength, and hope and hopes to share this with as many people in recovery as he can. He has been a professional jazz pianist for over 20 years. He has performed with Wynton Marsalis, Jimmy Cobb (drummer for Miles Davis), Daniel Platzman (drummer for Imagine Dragons), Robert “Sput” Seawright (drummer for Snoop Dogg and Snarky Puppy), Greg Osby, and Terri Lynn Carrington to name a few.

Existential Dread | Everything You Need to Know

Existential dread is a term used for feelings of unrest about our power to choose, our mortality, and the meaning of life. It is also referred to as existential angst. This angst is caused by thoughts such as: life at its very core is pointless, our existence is meaningless, and we are all going to die one day. Existential dread is related to a simple… 

Should Statements — Dangerous Cognitive Distortions

One of the cognitive distortions I struggle with the most is should statements. So what are cognitive distortions? Cognitive distortions are faulty ways of thinking that negatively affect your perception of reality. Have you ever heard the saying “you’re making a mountain out of a molehill”? Cognitive distortions usually involve perceiving situations, feelings, or events as much worse than they actually are.  I would guess… 

Intermittent Explosive Disorder — 30 Concerning Symptoms

Intermittent explosive disorder (IED) is one of the more dangerous mental health disorders as it can lead to physical violence towards other people. It is characterized by recurring episodes in which a person is unable to withstand the urge to engage in impulsive, aggressive, and even violent behavior. Other signs of this disorder include explosive verbal outbursts. These outbursts are usually completely out of proportion… 

D8 — A Comprehensive Guide to Delta-8-THC

D8, also known as Delta-8-THC, is a derivative of the hemp plant that has similar effects to the active ingredient in marijuana — THC. And yes, in case you were wondering, D8 will get you high if you take enough of it. A lot of D8 today is synthesized from CBD. It didn’t take long for CBD to take off. It seemed as if almost overnight,… 

Emotional Reasoning: A Cognitive Distortion

As we continue our series on cognitive distortions, let’s take a look at one that can cause major problems: emotional reasoning. You’ve heard the term “trust your gut.” Well, this isn’t a one size fits all term. Life is a little more complicated to navigate than this saying portrays it to be. Emotional reasoning can alter a person’s perception negatively, leading them to make poor… 

Mental Filtering | A Cognitive Distortion

Mental filtering is thinking in a distorted way over any considerable amount of time, which can lead to anxiety, depression, and even drug addiction. People struggling with addiction usually are dealing with some sort of mental illness. Whether it’s bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, or major depressive disorder (to name a few), those of us suffering from co-occurring disorders have a lot to overcome if we… 

Self-Sabotage | Everything You Need to Know

Self-sabotage and addiction is an interesting subject. You’d think all of us would be our own greatest advocate, only taking action to better ourselves and achieve things in our lives. However, more often than not, we are our own worst enemies and engage in self-sabotaging behavior. We get in our own way, and many times, we aren’t even aware of it. The first step is… 

Discounting the Positive | A Corroding Cognitive Distortion

Discounting the positive is a cognitive distortion where you never give credit to yourself for positive things and see yourself as only negative. Essentially, you’re taking positive experiences and either making them negative or saying they “don’t count” for some reason that usually has no basis in reality. “Cognitive distortion” is a term used for beliefs (that are not based on the truth) that lead… 

Personalization | A Cognitive Distortion That Makes Addiction Worse

This is the 2nd article in our cognitive distortion series, which will address the cognitive distortion personalization as it pertains to addiction. (If you haven’t yet, check out the first article on overgeneralization.) Probably 90% of addicts have a negative internal dialogue. Chances are that if you’re reading this, you or someone you know is an addict (I use the word addict as a term… 

Overgeneralization | A Cognitive Distortion That Can Kill

Overgeneralization is a type of thinking that emerged from a single event; this thinking is then applied to all similar events, especially ones in the future. Perhaps you had to give a big speech at your job or college graduation. Both you and the people around may think that you gave an absolutely horrendous speech. Big deal, right? In this example, overgeneralization might look like,…