Abnormal Psychology: Rumination and Depression

Topics: Major depressive disorder, Seasonal affective disorder, Types of psychological depression Pages: 6 (1952 words) Published: September 26, 2013

Abnormal Psychology

Rumnation and Depression

Rumination is defined as the “engagement in contemplation or reflection. It also can be equivocally understood by going over in the mind repeatedly and often casually or slowly.” However, depression on the other hand is “a state of unhappiness and hopelessness that can lead up to a lack of energy, inability to sleep, and, sometimes, suicidal tendencies.” After the dissection of these denotations, individuals can conclude that the theory of rumination is linked to depression. Ultimately, this becomes a big factor within the majority of patients and their overall cognitive ability regarding ruminating thoughts. Due to the fact that questions arose pertaining to the methods tested, mentally ill patients were compared to healthy and stable patients that led to the discovery of outcomes within these methods. (Bing; Webster) According to Zetsche, “depressed individuals show impairments in inhibiting irrelevant emotional material. Cognitive inhibition, however, is not a unitary construct but consists of several components which operate at different stages of information processing.” The perceivable interpretation that is understood relates to the ability of the mind being able to block out irrelevant information when trying to focus on a task at hand. Nevertheless, lacking cognitive inhibition likely translates to the mind drifting from time to time, creating a more difficult problem to the actual task at hand. Depending on the consistency, the lack of cognitive inhibition can lead the mind into an excessive state of rumination. Through this process, the mind will get so frustrated to the extent that it doesn’t remember what to focus on. After so much frustration, the mind will begin to doubt its productive capabilities leading it into severe cases of depression. (Zetsche Relation) Although the average individual has more mental inhibition to irrelevant information than someone in a depressive state, this doesn't necessarily mean everyone can mentally blockade what ever they wanted to with ease or even within the same time frame. When you look at patients with depressive backgrounds, the ability to mentally inhibit irrelevant information is lacking compared to those in a much more sane states of mind. "Recent research has shown that depression is characterized by difficulties inhibiting irrelevant emotional material and that these difficulties are linked to rumination." This can play a big factor within depressed patients in many ways. Through excessive rumination, a depressed person's mentally incapacitated state will lead the brain to ponder on the most extreme memories throughout their life. Although these memories can be positive, the fair assumption that can be made is that most of these memories will be traumatic. Having traumatic thoughts in your head on repeat day in and out would make even the most positive person a bit of a head case. (Zetsche interference)                 Rumination within depressed patients can cause lack of self-esteem, thinking with negativity about the most rudimentary encounters and even stress. The lack of Self-esteem comes from different angles. Some might wonder how they're perceived by others or even if others like them. This can bother someone so much to the point that they'd rather not live than grasp the concept of why they're not tolerable. Ruminating negatively all the time causes the body to breakdown over time and build up un-wanted stress. When combined with a poor self image, depressed individuals can't stand the look of themselves in a mirror. They also would rather tend to be alone than associate with people since their flaws can be more easily pointed out, making them more intolerable to society than they already think they are. The methods of testing vary from study to study. However, mentally ill patients are tested in comparison to healthy stable people. "In the first study, twenty-two individuals...
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