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megan
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Post Sun Sep 14, 2008 8:42 am

a question about ruminating!    Reply with quote  

I am fully conscious of the fact that a big feature of depression, sustaining depression or recurring depression is 'ruminating' - thoughts that go round and round in your head. I sometimes feel so emeshed in my inward thoughts that I cannot concentrate on reading, watching a film or anything. It exhausts me and all I want to do is be motionless. Depression is very quickly on its heels. I have battled with this my entire life so I am conscious of the 'getting there'. Oddly I have long better periods, even though I dip into a profound depression fairly frquently, but even when well, I am never totally free of feeling that there is something innately wrong

All the natural remedies I employ, diet, supplements, exercise do make a huge difference to the severity in as much as I can now carry on functioing, go to work, get on with my life feeling like sh@t, so much so that it alerted me to the physical component of depression, but they dont by any means stop it. I think if I could get the behavioural bit right (which is basically acting contrary to my natural personality it seems!) then I would have better control over this debilitating illness

My question. How do you go against all your natural inclinations and NOT ruminate .. basically how do you reverse being introspective and analytical if you have always been that way? I am sure if I could change this I would have a much happier life! ... of course there are other issues like trust and relationships that virtually confirm this inclination, contrary to my logical, reasoning mind, to 'stay safe within myself' .. but I want to change it. How?
  
jurplesman
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Joined: 21 Jun 2004
Posts: 14148
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post Mon Sep 15, 2008 4:14 am

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Hi megan,

By now you would be able to predict what my answer is going to be. A basic principle in the kind of therapy I offer is that before considering "psychotherapy", you need to eliminate the biological aspects of mood disorders. This is a principle so basic and so often overlooked that people keep on asking the same questions over and over again thinking it is "psychological". "How can my mind stop doing this?" is wrongly assuming that the mind has the magical power over physical illnesses.

Rumination is an another term for the compulsion to think in a repetitive way. Many people describe this as a "racing mind" going over the same non-sense over and over again. The mind cannot stop it. It often happens at night and prevents a person from having a good sleep. It is one of the signs of depression and anxieties.

The explanation is excess adrenaline production. Adrenaline functions to convert sugar stores in the body into glucose, so as to feed the muscles and brain cells with ENERGY (derived from sugars) to take immediate action in case of a crisis. Adrenaline is also a FOCUSING hormone that directs your attention to the object of fear (a tiger). Thus adrenaline keeps you focussed on whatever you mind is focussing on, whether you like or not. Normally adrenaline is produced in response to an environmental crisis or trauma, hence helping you to deal with this crisis.

If you understand hypoglycemia, it would not be too difficult for you to work out what causes the brain to trigger the release of excess adrenaline and cortisol, that can cause you to ruminate.

But when the body produces excess adrenaline regardless of an environmental (or real) situation, it operates in a vacuum. The cause of over-production is due to an underlying metabolic disorder, or illness and has nothing to do with environmental matters. THE MIND WILL THEN CREATE AN IMAGINARY SITUATION, that will explain why we are over-producing adrenaline. This is no different from a HALLUCINATION or DELUSION experienced by people with more severe forms of mental illnesses. Unfortunately most psychologists are not ready yet to recognize that people with non-psychotic illnesses can have hallucinations and delusions. It is like putting the cart before the horse, or reversing cause and consequence.

The problem has been more explained in:

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Nutrition here

Megan can you please tell me whether this explains it to you?
megan
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Post Mon Sep 15, 2008 7:08 am

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Hi Jurriaam ... yes thats very clear. I was actually just going to remove this post for the lack of response so thanks

As you know I agree with you that a lot of emotional ills have a biological component, what I find difficult about this though in this situation is that I virtually have a hypoglycemia diet... I have been tested,both via a nutritionist and via the NHS and I am not hypoglycemic ... not even close. The nutritionist said "if the rate was 1 to 10, ten being you were hypoglycemic, you are about a 4" .. I certainly dont have any symptoms of this condition.

Its not so much that I have a racing mind that keeps me awake, I can see the adrenaline link to that, I am just too introspective and anaylise too much. It may be genetic however as my mother was pretty much the same. I virtually talk myself into depression. It isnt really racing or obsessive ... well actually come to mention it, I suppose any automatic pattern, even driving or walking can be related to obsessive .. but not in the traditional sense.

But thanks I will certainly read the link now

All the best xx
jurplesman
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Joined: 21 Jun 2004
Posts: 14148
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post Tue Sep 16, 2008 2:36 am

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Hi megan,

The only way for me to know about your hypoglycemia is to see the results of the actual oral glucose tolerance test. For instance did the doctor tell you which TYPE of hypoglycemia you have, and is he aware of type 6, which is cerebral hypoglycia, with normal blood sugar levels. I don't know whether you have these results to look at. The other thing I'd like to mention is that hypoglycemia is only one among the many other factors contributing to mood disorders. There are allergies that need to be investigated. I have a home test for allergies at:

Finding your Allergies

Then there are the various digestive disorders and other the innumerable illnesses that can contribute to mood disoders. The best is to look at

Diseases associated with Emotional Disorders

and see if you have any of these illnesses or whether you know of any members in your family (past and present) who MAY have these illnesses. Thus there may be a genetic predisposition. If so this can be treated.

If all these avenues do not supply any of the answers then you need to see a Nutritional Doctor or a Clinical Nutritionist, who can perform medical tests such as ANA test, heavy metal tests etc etc, a full hair analysis, that might interfere with the production of feel good neurotransmitters. The various possibilities are unlimited.
actone
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Joined: 03 Dec 2008
Posts: 11

Post Thu Dec 04, 2008 4:05 am

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As far as thought processes go, I'm sure you're familiar with the impossibility of telling yourself not to think about something. Don't think about daisies. Too late, just did. Same thing goes towards ruminating. So what would be an alternative to ruminating that you would consider? A task at hand? A helpful quote? The key is to distract your thoughts, at least at the get-go, so you don't succumb to ruminating cycles.

Nolen and Hoeksema published a study in 1998 in which they tested and found positive effects of ruminating on anger- subjects felt less angry if their thoughts were directed away from the anger-inducing event, common-sense-ish. Likewise another study asked depressed students to either think about clouds (random neutral topic) for five minutes, or themselves for five. Those who thought about clouds felt much less depressed than those who spent the time thinking (with the complete freedom for sub-topics) about themselves.

I'm not sure if the above answers your question.. but if it is your goal to counter "natural inclinations" towards ruminating, it will probably not feel natural when you first try your chosen "distraction" techniques, but try it for a day or two before you knock it?
satanstoystore
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Post Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:04 am

Re: a question about ruminating!    Reply with quote  

What must you believe to want to
quote:
Originally posted by megan
'stay safe within myself'

And also feel to want to stay safe within yourself?
Anthony Jacquin
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Posts: 2935

Post Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:50 am

Re: a question about ruminating!    Reply with quote  

quote:
Originally posted by megan

My question. How do you go against all your natural inclinations and NOT ruminate .. basically how do you reverse being introspective and analytical if you have always been that way?


Megan,

firstly make a simple distinction.

Is the thing you are ruminating about something you can act on. e.g you haven;t spoken to someone in three months and last time you did there was some crossed word or situation that was uncomfortable.

If you can act on it do so. e.g pick up the phone

Is the thing you are ruminating on something you cannot do anything about at all or introspective 'why I am feeling like this/doing this etc?

If it is then do something else. Anything else. When the situation repeats itself do something else.

Ruminaton has it's place and can be useful. Overdoing it is learnt habit not a natural inclination.

Anthony
Michael Lank
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Joined: 22 Feb 2004
Posts: 5816
Location: Lewes, UK

Post Thu Dec 11, 2008 6:27 pm

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Megan,

A few thoughts on stopping ruminating.

Firstly there are the general 'lifestyle' matters, such as nutrition (already mentioned!), exercise, take regular exercise that gets you out of breath and feeling relaxed, doing relaxing things, relaxation exercises or doing whatever relaxes you (not watching TV). Ensure your basic human needs well met.

Ruminators often say that they are analytical. Rumination is nothing like analysis. In analysis we examine the information that we have, decide if we need more information and how to get it, then form a hypothesis or conclusion on the information and act on that.

Rumination on the other hand simply involves going over and over the same thing without resolution. Become more genuinely analytical and objective about the things that you are ruminating on.

Other ways to deal with rumination are:

Do things that you get totally absorbed in, the kind of things that you get so absorbed in that time flies.

Get the things that you are ruminating on out in the open - write them down, look at them in black and white and decide what to do about them. As Ant says take action if appropriate.

Using Covey's circles of influence/concern and then focus on what is in your circle of influence and act on those things. This can apply for the obvious action points and the more introspective issues.

Set aside a time and a place for ruminating, no more than 10-15 minutes day, and in a place that you do not associate with relaxation (not your favourite armchair!) set a strict time, use an alarm if it helps and in that time really allow yourself to ruminate and write down what you are ruminating on. If you ruminate outside of your allotted time note what you are ruminating on and 'park' it until the allotted time.

Ask yourself solution focussed questions about what you are ruminating on, such as 'what do I want?' (answer in the positive)', 'how will I know when I have got it', 'what will it do for me'?, 'What resources have I got to help me get it?'

You can use something like a rubber band around your wrist, when you notice yourself ruminating, pull the rubber band and let it go so it hits your wrist. Use this as a reminder to stop ruminating.

Make a list of things that you could do that are more constructive than ruminating, and keep that list handy. When you notice yourself ruminating pull out the list and go and do one of the other activities.

Another source of rumination can be internal conflicts 'part of me wants..., but another part of me wants....'. For example, part of me wants to be rich and make a lot of money, but another part of me wants to live a simple life in the country free from worldly goods.'

Then it is best to do some form of parts integration; best done with someone else who is familiar with this.

Do 'left brain' activities; crosswords, sudoku, tasks that require logic, rationality or objectivity.
soundwave
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Post Thu Dec 25, 2008 9:22 pm

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hi there

im not sure if setting time aside for rumination is a gd one.
ocd type rumination has splintered, sorry diseased my entire life up until i started tackling it about a year ago. first you must realise that it is not the same as analysis- i think you already pointed this out) with analysis you come to a decision and move on. with 'rumination' you question doubt after doubt; there is no answer.

the problem for me was the feeling that 'somethings not right' was so strong being free of it seemed impossible.

but now i am there and the feeling is nearly gone cos i dont believe it atall anymore. sounds easy not to believe it but as psychologists you know what i mean and how hard it really is, probably.

i can't really say what has helped me the most but you really really have to start trusting yourself and start battling at the faulty thinking... i now know the mind is malleable but you have to trust yourself first.


The hypoglycemia explanation... it may be true as the 'ultimate' cause, but my questions are this:

how long before you are cured and
is it practical? can you really fix yourself with diet and suppliments

i ask this because ocd is such a head **** it seems impossible that a simple dietry watch and suppliments would realistically treat it. normal anxiety for sure.. but isit reeally true for more serious conditions?

also if it is the explanation, why is it that cbt and erp do work?

cheers,
sw
jurplesman
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Joined: 21 Jun 2004
Posts: 14148
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:21 am

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quote:
Originally posted by soundwave
The hypoglycemia explanation... it may be true as the 'ultimate' cause, but my questions are this:

how long before you are cured and
is it practical? can you really fix yourself with diet and suppliments

i ask this because ocd is such a head **** it seems impossible that a simple dietry watch and suppliments would realistically treat it. normal anxiety for sure.. but isit reeally true for more serious conditions?

also if it is the explanation, why is it that cbt and erp do work?

cheers,
sw


The more serious the anxiety is the more it is likely to be related to biological issues. If you test a person with anxiety issue - such as useless ruminations or what is also known as "racing minds" - with the oral GTT a explained here, you'll find with a probability of 90% that he/she is hypoglycemic. If you put them on a hypoglycemic diet, they will stop having anxiety (and/or racing minds) within at least three months. If they have been using drugs it may take longer. If the hypo diet does not work you look for other factors; such as allergies, food sensitivities, or various other illnesses such as digestive illnesses, biochemical imbalances. Nutritional psychologists know what to look for. Most mood disorders can be treated by psycho-nutritional means. This is my clinical experience and the experience of most other clinical nutritionists. It is not a matter of "simple dietary watch". You need to do a course in Psychology AND Clinical Nutrition. Don't overestimate the success of CBT and other "talking therapies". They simply don't work if you have a metabolic disorder!!!! You cannot for instance talk yourself out of insulin resistance! Talk therapy is all pie in the sky, when it really is biological.
soundwave
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Posts: 314

Post Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:53 pm

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ok wow
sry didn't mean simple dietry watch terms of being less knowledgable was just my inability to see in terms of biological i suppose

but does this mean that there isn't a reason? as i am sure there is evidence to show in non biological terms how i developed the illness i.e. life circumstances/experiences/lack of emotional support-solitude

or if i was cured biologically would i be depressed only? because of there being no excess anxiety floating around there wouldn't be an anxiety issue, only a mood issue?


thanks,
sw
soundwave
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Posts: 314

Post Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:34 pm

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is rumination not an issue of doubt?
does no insulin resistance elliminate rumination.

intrusive thoughts, are these no longer assigned meaning becoming obsessions with no insulin resistance
megan
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Post Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:42 am

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I hadnt realised there was these responses to this thread .. but it occurred to me today that thoughts going round and round in circles can have an emotional/psychological function. For instance, 'need' If there is an underlying need, say for recognition/attention, I might play over and over a situation where I was not being understood and try and resolve it internally in some way .. or indeed I might play over and over a situation where I was getting attention and validation and be stuck in playing that situation over because its kind of comforting. I have recognised that self comfort is a very common reason why I ruminate over things.

I also cannot stand things that feel unsettled and I think my mind (and I am not unique) has a need to 'tidy things up and have feelings sorted' ruminating I think is often a means of achieving that and having some sort of emotional conclusion and settlement in my mind. I might ruminate and ruminate over something in an attempt to 'sort it out' and achieve that (even though it may still be going round in endless circles and be fruitless).

I was just giving this some more thought this morning "watching" my own thoughts ruminating and feel that it often stems from a feeling of things being very unresolved and the need for conclusion .. however fruitless achievement of that conclusion may be or a strong sense of emotional need and playing over situations where I felt comforted in an endless way.. to the point where it drives me nuts! A bit like having an anoying radio station turned on loud that you cant turn off

I have also tried the distraction method. For instance, I can have a heavy workout in the gym and still ruminate while Im doing it! Even if I am distracted temporarily by getting absorbed into something, I will come back to it. Actually when I am stuck in my own thoughts like this, distraction is extremely difficult .. but not impossible I suppose

Anyway just sharing some thoughts!
jurplesman
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Joined: 21 Jun 2004
Posts: 14148
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:12 am

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quote:
Originally posted by soundwave
ok wow
sry didn't mean simple dietry watch terms of being less knowledgable was just my inability to see in terms of biological i suppose

but does this mean that there isn't a reason? as i am sure there is evidence to show in non biological terms how i developed the illness i.e. life circumstances/experiences/lack of emotional support-solitude

or if i was cured biologically would i be depressed only? because of there being no excess anxiety floating around there wouldn't be an anxiety issue, only a mood issue?


thanks,
sw


If rumination is simply a matter of a logical mind stopping the compulsion to ruminate, why is it that AD medication can stop compulsive rumination? If a drug can stop you from you thinking in a certain way, then surely this is a proof of a biological disorder and not a "psychological" disorder. Nutritional doctors use Ritalin to test a patient for ADHD. If a patient responds to Ritalin, it shows that a patient has ADHD. This means it has a biological element that needs to be treated before anything else.
Whereas OCD usually involves excess adrenaline, depression does not always involve adrenaline, because long periods of anxieties can evolve in adrenal exhaustion and depression. A long period of anxieties usually - but not always - may result in depression.

As an aside, it is interesting to note that the supplementation of phenylalanine may help some people overcome depression. Phenylalanine is nutritional forerunner of adrenaline.

However, rumination should also be distinguished from problem solving.

As part of the Assertiveness Training Program that I taught to classes of clients, clients have to learn "strategies" of assertiveness. The aim of these strategies is for a clients to respond to certain criticisms by learning the "assertive" strategies. Thus if a client experienced a put-down during the day, the client takes it home and before falling asleep - of for that matter during any private moment - practises mentally of how he/she should have replied with the help of the Assertiveness Training Program. This would be called "mental practice" or "problem solving". This may have to be repeated several times. But it it usually is a rewarding experience. OCD is not rewarding.

By deliberately repeating the scene of the put-down and its assertive response or a variety of appropriate responses, the client learns to become assertive automatically. This is provided he has got rid of a negative self-image, which is a prerequisite to studying "being assertive".

The distinction is that in OCD repetitive thoughts are beyond "free will" and not rewarding, whereas in "problem solving" the repetitiveness is deliberate as a problem solving/learning tool and is usually rewarding.
soundwave
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Post Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:25 pm

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the rumination is certainly a compulsion- an instincitive escape from the anxiety
i suppose that the anxiety would not be there to assign to the thoughts but then the thoughts arn't random, they're specific to the person, i don't understand it fully if the thoughts are not random? i guess without the anxiety to misplace in the first place, and with the assertiveness to come to a decision
  

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