How could business techniques like regret minimization framework and fear setting help someone with co-occurring disorders? Both these techniques are tools to rationalize our fears and prioritize our lives, tasks that are difficult for people suffering from dual diagnosis.

Regret Minimization Framework

If you have been keeping up with current internet trends you will have probably seen the video of Amazon founder Jeff Besos discussing regret minimization framework. The clip is from a 1999 interview Besos did with 60 Minutes, but it’s regained popularity after shares on Reddit and Facebook went viral.

Regret minimization framework is a fancy way of saying, life your life with the least regrets possible. It’s not the same as Carpe Diem or YOLO because RMF does not condone reckless action, but instead promotes careful consideration through risk taking.

Jeff Besos credits a large part of his success to regret minimization framework.

Regret Minimization Framework Exercise for Dual Diagnosis

Recovering addicts know what it means to regret, and step 4 of the 12-step program reminds us of those regrets more than anything.

But once you have accepted forgiveness into your life and started again, you can start again, and start living your life to the fullest.

Use these steps to decrease the regret:

  1. Imagine yourself at the end of your life, what will you regret doing or not doing?
  2. Look at decision from a distance, how will you feel about this decision when you are 70 years old?
  3. Start taking chances that will make you happy in 30 or 40 years.
  4. Reduce your worrying. “Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.” – Marty Schmich.
  5. Avoid procrastination, every minute you are getting older.
  6. Practice Fear Setting.

Start seeing the bright side of life and taking some happy risks! Conquer dual diagnosis with healthy regret minimization.

Fear Setting

Tim Ferris, a lifestyle guru famous for his book The Four-Hour Work Week, suffers from bipolar depression. He used something like regret minimization framework to overcome his crippling depression and anxiety, it’s called fear setting. He actually has an entire TED talk dedicated to Fear Setting.

Fear setting is an exercise to combat anxiety by imagining the outcomes of your worst fears, deciding how to prevent them and proactively deciding what actions to take to repair the damage, should those fears come to life.

There is also a list of benefits that could come from that action. That may be hard for people suffering from dual diagnosis and anxiety disorders to comprehend, but yes, good things can come from realizing your worst fears.

Fear Setting Example for Dual Diagnosis

Grab a pen, paper, laptop, anything and get comfortable.

You are going to be making a list, a list that is uncomfortable, and you may be here for a few hours. Pick your top 10 fears:

  • Define: What’s the Worst Thing That Could Happen? (10 things)
  • Prevent: List how you could stop each thing from happening.
  • Repair: If it does happen, how could you repair each thing.
  • Benefits: What are the benefits of these fears happening.

Now the time line:

  • 6 Months: What are the ‘costs’ of not taking action up to this time?
  • 1 Year: What are the ‘costs’ of not taking action up to this time?
  • 3 Years: What are the ‘costs’ of not taking action up to this time?

Work with your therapist or better yet, discuss this with your dual diagnosis support group. Share this idea with others! If you are stuggling with anxiety and fear, consider a Neuropsychological Assessment and addiction treatment. We are here to help!

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