Which comes first, the ruminating or the depression? Do we ruminate because we are depressed or are we depressed because we are ruminating? Maybe we feel we have good reasons to ruminate
Sounds like a circular and ruminatory kind of question
Here are my thoughts on this...
Firstly I like to distinguish clearly between rumination and contemplation. For myself, I define rumination as internalised thinking that goes nowhere. Also, to create depression, rumination has to cause emotional arousal. So if you can ruminate without emotional arousal, then fine. That's what I call contemplation.
In my opinion, rumination is only any good if it leads to action or decisions that end the rumination - otherwise you just have unpleasant circular thought - kind of mental self-flagellation.
the postee’s (thank you for posting by the way) comment made me realize that my problem was that “I was never good enough…I would never live up to the family standards”
This is the sort of 'insight' that can be useful if it leads to a change in the way you think and perceive yourself. Rumination (and these sorts of thoughts) are based on black and white thinking. That's not to say it is not understandable - of course it is - but to get the better of it, you have to see it for what it is - unrealistic.
However the “me being stupid idea” is part of my core
And when you manage to shift it outside of your core, it will have much less hold over you. Again, it's a black and white statement that has no footing in reality. Ask yourself "Is it possible for a basically intelligent person to do stupid things?" or "Is it possible for something that one person sees as stupid to appear to someone else as clever?"
Of course it is, and I'm sure I don't need to preach to you about that, but I can't stand to see the tyranny of emotionally-fueled thoughts undermining a person.
Once you are able to spot a black and white thought (such as "I am stupid", "Nobody loves me") as realise that they don't deserve your attention, you are more than halfway there.
Interacting with these ideas is locking yourself into a hellish double bind - much like the courtroom question "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?" If you answer according to the rules of the question, you are guilty.
I treat these sorts of thoughts as pure hallucination. They are not truthful. They are not specific enough to act upon. They are someone else's ideas.
if you didn’t get the love and respect from your parents and family - the most fundamental of human needs (surely?) [I notice that you don’t have this as one of your fundamental needs – why not?], are these not very good reasons to ruminate?
Let me ask you a question: Are there people who had terrible upbringings who are not depressed?
The answer to this is Yes. By this do I mean that a less happy upbringing does not leave you more susceptible to emotional difficulties? No. The evidence is quite clear that it will tend to.
The basic needs are what people need to function well. If they are met, it is (highly) unlikely that the person will suffer emotional problems, regardless of their problems.
Is it possible to ruminate about an unhappy upbringing? Yes of course. Is it a good reason to? No, nothing is, unless you consider your aim to make yourself feel worse. It is bad enough to have to feel sad about it. Why ruminate so you have to feel anxious and depressed about it as well? It happened back then. Why let it affect the future?
Can you change what happened in the past? No. Can you change how you feel about it? Yes, to an extent. Can you change the effect it has on your present and future. Absolutely. Identifying your areas of control will help you clarify your aims and how to achieve them.
Please don't feel I am unsympathetic - I am not. It just seems that you are making progress in your thinking and I am trying to help give you a new perspective.
I see the results of peoples' terrible experiences all the time. My question to them (and myself) is "How are we going to get you to go forward without having to drag this with you?"
In summary, I am saying that rumination solves nothing. Asking yourself the wrong questions is a sure way to keep you in the depressed trance state.
That's my take on it