Almost everyone who has ever experienced low mood, anxiety or depression will know what we mean by ‘rumination’.For the record , this is when we find ourselves repeating the same types of thoughts over and over again. When we ruminate , we are more likely to think quite negatively about ourselves. our behaviours , the world around us and so on. We tend to judge ourselves negatively. We might compare our actions or ourselves with other people . We might even worry in a general way about why bad things always seem to happen to us.
You might wonder why part of a chapter on changing behaviour in depression should concern itself with a type of thinking .
However, researchers have recently started to understand rumination differently. One way to look at rumination is to see it in the same way as any other behaviour . It is triggered by circumstances , it has a function and it has consequences .
Let’s consider an example:-
Simon always prided himself on being a logical sort of guy. He worked as an accountant and was used to working on detailed sheets of figures. When he could not make his figures add up, he would be very meticulous in finding out where things were not correct. He used to do this systematically and always found where the problem was and then worked out how to fix it.
When he became depressed , Simon started to spend hours going over and over in his mind things that had not gone well. When he got home each evening, he would sit and replay the day’s events time and time again. He kept trying to work out what had gone wrong. For example, he had started to argue with his colleagues over trivial things-unwashed coffee cups, colleagues being a few minutes late, people making minor mistakes in their work .He would go over these events through out the evening , and would spend several hours sitting or even pacing up and down unable to get these thoughts out of his head. He would imagine many different situations and how they might go differently . He also started to ask himself , ‘Why me?’ ‘Why am I feeling like this?’
After all this, he found himself exhausted but also unable to sleep, his mind in turmoil . This meant that when he went to work the next day , he was more tired than usual . He found himself getting to work late and making mistakes.
I will complete in article 3 soon.
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