Common Cognitive Appraisals  for Anxious Individuals who Have Chronic Pain

Individuals who experience heightened anxiety often score higher in certain cognitive appraisals than others. Of particular concern is the control scale since anxious people value security and have a difficult time feeling uncertain or helpless about situations. The need for control is extremely difficult for perfectionist individuals who have high self-standards. The same is true for “should” statements since anxious individuals often invest allot of energy in what they should be doing but can’t do because of having chronic pain. High scaled scores in both Futuristic and Catastrophic Thinking is typical for anxious individuals who worry constantly rather than being relaxed enough to enjoy each moment in time. While future planning is a healthy skill , an overemphasis on the future can elicit feelings of doubt and uncertainty that parallel higher scaled scores in the need for control scale. Highly anxious individuals may often perceive situations in all or none ways rather than taking into account the large grey area between extremes. Perfectionistic individuals who have high self-standards often perceive  situations in all or none ways. They may say “I’m either perfect or I’m inadequate”, or “I have to do exceedingly well”, or “I’m terrible”.




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