A woman with a thought bubble over one eye in the thought bubble is an eye that looks like a bomb

Thought Distortions Make Macular Degeneration Harder

Thought distortions make macular degeneration harder.

If you think at all, you have developed thought distortions. Some are minor annoyances while others are far more serious that interfere with daily functioning and mental health. Many were learned in our formative years, often by well-intentioned yet misguided adults. Other thought distortions we created ourselves for protection or out of ignorance. What seemed like a good idea at the time no longer serves us. Yet, this erroneous thinking remains active, causing harm, both mentally and emotionally. These thought distortions can affect the way we deal with macular degeneration. Here are some hard but valuable questions to ask yourself.

Possible thought distortions about macular degeneration

Following are a few questions to answer. You might want to write down your answers. Be brutally honest.

  • What do you believe about your future with macular degeneration - positive and negative?
  • Who controls your future? Are you Victim or Victor? Which role do you most often play?
  • Has much of the joy faded since your diagnosis or are you excited about life?
  • Do you you feel vulnerable and helpless or live as independently as possible?
  • Is it “Why me?” or “Why not me?” Are you into acceptance or denial?

The way you answer these questions is a way to gauge what your thought distortions might be about your condition. To further examine how these thought distortions might get in the way, here are a few of mine. You might relate to some of these.

My own thought disortions

"I won’t be able to see to apply my make-up"

NOT TRUE! Eleven years post-diagnosis, I’m still putting on my own make-up BUT using a magnifying mirror now.

"I won’t be able to travel"

Also NOT true! Today I enjoy guided tours with a group or someone accompanies me who sees better than me! However, traveling solo is no longer an option. Traveling options have changed but are not off the table.

"I will become a recluse and be vulnerable"

Just like my mother, because I can’t see. That thought distortion was a little tougher to overcome. Mom was legally blind with dry macular degeneration. She became isolated and depressed. I was fearful of becoming like her so I got counseling to help me understand that doesn’t have to be my life and it isn’t. In my mid-70s, I enjoy a purposeful life. I highly recommend professional therapy.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg on how thought distortions can trip you up. I bet you have a few of your own. You might want to take the deep dive, do the hard work and address those right now. It’s worth the effort to enjoy a happier, more fulfilling life!

One last question to ponder

Is your personal insight and well-being governed more by your “outer" physical vision or your “inner” vision? What we SEE inwardly and how we think has much more to do with our quality of life than our physical sight. Period!

That may be the most important question of all! It’s all about how we THINK about ourselves and our condition. We can’t change our condition but we CAN change our thinking! REMEMBER: We might have macular degeneration but it does not have us! It is not who we are. 

This quote from Wayne Dwyer says it perfectly:

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” 

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