There’s one word that sums it all up.  It’s a word that I learned from the pain medicine nurses back in 2006 regarding patients that come up with every excuse under the sun why they cannot diet or do any exercise.  What’s the word?  It’s…


Ankles or knees might give way if the patient ventures out of their armchair.  Their glands might explode, or sudden unfamiliar movement might send them into a diabetic coma…

It’s not only pain patients that catastrophise.  Look at some of the catastrophic scenarios on the daily news bulletins about another word that I’m heartily sick of… Brexit:

  • The price of goods might go up in the shops.
  • It might be harder to acquire medications (stockpiles are already being assembled).
  • There might be queues at borders due to heightened customs and passport checks.
  • Flights to the EU might be grounded.

And it doesn’t stop there.  About September time my holiday home site starts to bombard owners with catastrophising letters regarding what might happen if they don’t pay to have their caravans ‘winterised’.  Sam asked them what he had to do to ensure the van  will still be usable when we return in the spring, and he was given a list of tasks to carry out, which of course the site will do for a fee.  We looked at the list, and for instance they charge £65 for ‘draining down’ the caravan, which took Sam about 10 minutes to do.  They ask for £20 to top up the radiators with Fernox, which prevents the water inside from freezing.  My son, a heating engineer, says this is unnecessary if the central heating system has had nothing done to it, as it’s a closed system.

To my horror, Sam started catastrophising at the weekend.  We’re going to have two rooms plastered, and all the furniture needs taking out and storing in the garage. Sam catastrophised about the garage flooding, and I had to remind him it’s only flooded once in 28 years!

My son’s mother-in-law constantly catastrophises; it does my head in.  It makes me wonder whether catastrophising might be the new trend for 2019?