Feeling feckless from yet another bad choice you scream, “Why can’t I manage poor judgment and decision-making?” They’re common with mood and anxiety disorders, and you can. Let’s talk about it…

For a time, run our potential judgments and decisions by someone we trust. Even discuss them after we’ve made the call.

Last week I posted “Someday I’ll look back at this and laugh.” Seriously?

In the piece I shared that I quit using the observation because I realized it was a cover-up for
mood and anxiety realities I didn’t want to face, much less accept.

At the top of my reality list was a history of poor judgment and decision-making. I hated it.

Since it’s a common challenge for anyone dealing with a mood or anxiety disorder, I said we’d get into some interventions in “part two.”

Well, here we are. So let’s get busy…

Poor judgment and decision-making

Yep, those of us enduring depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder may experience troubles with poor judgment and decision-making.

Executive functions

As I said in part one, judgment and decision-making are executive functions. And the action takes place in the brain’s prefrontal cortex (PFC).

By the way, the cerebral cortex is the two to four millimeter thick outer covering of the brain. The PFC comprises one-third of it.

poor judgment and decision-making

Prefrontal Cortex

As long as we’re doing details, the PFC is the portion of the brain that develops last – in late adolescence. That explains a lot, right?

When it comes to the mood and anxiety disorders, the PFC is a busy place, so there’s bound to be the occasional traffic jam.

When one occurs, dicey judgment and decision-making often arrive on the scene.

Inattention and impulsivity

There are two other executive functions that need to be mentioned – inattention and impulsivity.

Here’s just one of the reasons why…

If we’re depressed we’re much more likely not to care enough to make quality decisions. If we’re anxious, hypomanic, or manic, our elevated mental state may show the door to any ability to make good judgment calls.

Can you connect with either?

10 ways to manage poor judgment and decision-making

Okay, poor judgment and decision-making may be pathological and long-standing, but there’s plenty we can do about them.

Take a look at these 10 ways to manage…

  1. Understand they’re most often part of our mood and anxiety disorder package. Become comfortable with why.
  2. Accept our propensity to do both. While we’re at it, accept our mood and anxiety realities.
  3. For a time, run our potential judgments and decisions by someone we trust. Even discuss them after we’ve made the call. Take the feedback to heart.
  4. Make a list of the poor judgments or decisions we’ve made over the past 30 days. Take into account the input of our trusted person.
  5. Next to each of #4, record how our mood or anxiety circumstances contributed, and what we can do to keep them from happening again.
  6. Avoid snap judgments and decisions. Take the time to consider our options before making the call.
  7. Reward ourselves after making a nice judgment call or decision. Take note of how we did it, as well as how good it made us feel.
  8. Assess where we are with inattention and impulsivity – reference #6. If they’re potential troublemakers, work on them and keep them monitored.
  9. Minimize stress by practicing healthy lifestyle habits – exercise, relaxation, nutrition, quality sleep, and more.
  10. Believe we have the authority and power to turn our judgment and decision-making history around – because we do.

What do you think? Surely you can come up with more.


Are you tired of screaming “Why can’t I manage poor judgment and decision-making?” after yet another bad choice?

Then knock it off.

First, come to accept your eccentric mood and anxiety driven executive functions. And whether it’s with the 10 pointers I shared or something else, begin the process of change. Got it?

Just think, it all started with “Someday I’ll look back at this and laugh.”


To get the full scoop, ya’ gotta’ read part one, “Someday I’ll look back at this and laugh.” Seriously?

And those Chipur mood and anxiety info and inspiration titles are waiting for you.

Prefrontal cortex image: Public domain. Authors: Natalie M. Zahr, PhD and Edith V. Sullivan, PhD.

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