When listening to politicians, I absolutely loathe the use of a “slippery slope” argument. I know it to be rhetorically lazy, taking an argument to an illogical extreme rather than actually dealing with the point at hand. I roll my eyes whenever they do it.
I think the reason I hate it so much is because OCD used to do it to me on a regular basis. It still tries to do it now, but I’ve learned to spot it and dismiss it for the BS it is.
Take the other night, for instance. I was sick. (Physically) and my stomach decided to empty itself of its contents shortly after I took my meds.
Here’s the completely ridiculous and illogical extreme OCD took me to:
“I threw up my meds. I know I threw up my meds. Which means they’re not in my system. Which means I’m going to have a really bad day soon. A bad day turns into a bad week, a bad week turns into a bad month, a bad month turns into a relapse, and a relapse means I’m headed back to the hospital. My son will definitely remember me gone this time. Oh no. Oh no. Oh no.”
Thankfully, I have had a lot of ERP. I’ve done a lot of thought challenging.
Mentally, I’m in a much better place than I was a couple of years ago.
Rather than fixating on the thought, I was able to send off a quick tweet, find something to watch on my tablet, and move on.
But had this happened to me a couple of years ago, I would’ve been begging my therapist to squeeze me in as soon as possible and up all night ruminating.
And if this is where you are right now, I just want to say: OCD is a freaking liar, and it’s guilty of committing a logical fallacy. It is.
I’m going to lead you through a thought challenge on my ridiculous OCD thought from that night.
“I threw up my meds. I know I threw up my meds. Which means they’re not in my system.
<okay, this may or may not be true. But you don’t know whether or not you threw up those pills. Even if you did, you’ve been on this dose for almost two years. One day is not going to get it entirely out of your system. Chances of it being entirely out of your system? Pretty slim.>
Which means I’m going to have a really bad day soon.
<Okay, you might have a bad day. There’s really no way of knowing whether the meds are entirely responsible for your current level of stability. You have done a sh-t ton of work in therapy. You’ve got this. But even if you DO have a bad day, you’ll be able to handle it. Chances of a bad day happening? Meh. Maybe 30%.>
A bad day turns into a bad week,
<Nope. Stop there. You’ve had plenty of one-off bad days. Chances of a bad day (even if you have one) turning into a bad week? Probably less than 10% >
a bad week turns into a bad month, a bad month turns into a relapse, and a relapse means I’m headed back to the hospital. My son will definitely remember me gone this time. Oh no. Oh no. Oh no.”
<Still nope. I’d put this possibility at about .3%. This is OCD telling you the slippery slope exists. It doesn’t. OCD clearly failed intro philosophy. The slippery slope is a lazy argument designed to work on emotions rather than actually deal with logic. Move on>
For more on thought challenging, check out this awesome worksheet from Anxiety BC.
Peace, friends. I’ve got to go keep my children from maiming one another and completely destroying my house.