Frequently Asked Questions About Rumination Accompanied With Depression, Anxiety, And Repetitive Thoughts

Depression tends to suck the energy in a person. It brings feelings of extreme dread, exhaustion, sadness, and helplessness. Most of the time, you have to deal with this disorder alone. It gets even more difficult once you learn that it can also bring other physical and psychological illnesses.

Comorbidities or comorbid disorders are multiple disabilities diagnosed in an individual. Think of a physical disease such as diabetes and a cardiovascular illness. Most commonly, you can find an overlap between these ailments. They may or may not directly correlate, but they may certainly co-exist in a particular patient.


In mental health illnesses, major depressive disorder can have several to multiple comorbidities. The highest and most prevalent mental comorbidities of depression may vary between anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, and other depressive disorders. Some other lesser comorbidities may include obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic disorder, and personality disorders.

The rumination-depression cycle is one. This comorbidity impairs a person’s ability to think and solve their problems. The term “ruminate” comes from the Latin word for chewing cud. It means the continuous grinding, swallowing, regurgitating, and rechewing of food. This term is typical to use for cattle.

Rumination is the process of thinking repetitively of the same thoughts. The repeating and continuous can then lead to intense emotions. It can leave the person socially disabled, where they might feel isolated. It might also drive away support from others.

Consciously repeating depressive thoughts and anxiety is different from rumination disorder. The former is when a person believes that rumination can give them a fresh perspective on their problems. Meanwhile, the latter is the actual regurgitation of food in at least one month.

If you want to know more about how to probe rumination accompanied by depression, anxiety, and repetitive thoughts, we’ve listed a series of frequently asked questions below.

What is obsessive rumination disorder?

Obsessive thinking is the person’s inability to control their thoughts no matter how reoccurring and distressing these thoughts may be. Under obsessive thinking are three things that make it a lot harder to deal with.

One of those three things is rumination, or when a person focuses on the past too much. A person will typically be more focused on past mistakes, failures, losses, and other grievances. Rumination is associated with emotions such as regret, envy, and guilt. There will be a belief that if a specific negative event in the past did not happen, then current problems would not have arisen.

Is rumination a symptom of depression?

Rumination could be one of the reasons why depression becomes more severe. Rumination is obsessively thinking about something repeatedly. When a person is depressed, the typical repeat thoughts usually revolve around feelings of worthlessness or inadequacy.

From here, the repetitive feelings and thoughts about one’s inadequacy or worthlessness start to cause anxiety. This anxiety then makes problem-solving harder to achieve, which eventually leads to depression deepening.

What type of thinking is associated with depression?

There is a theory referred to as the cognitive theory, where it states that if we think about something often enough, we begin to believe these thoughts, which is why our emotions try to match this.

There are cognitive distortions or ways of thinking that could lead to or is associated with depression. These thinking methods are all-or-nothing, overgeneralization, personalization, jumping to conclusions, disqualifying the positive, mental filter, emotional reasoning, statement, magnification, minimization, and labeling mislabeling.

How do I stop obsessing over my thoughts?

Obsessing over your thoughts could be normal, especially when you are someone who naturally tends to overthink everything. This could become very toxic to you and to the people around you, which is why it is important to address these thoughts as early as possible.

You could do a few things: determine what you are obsessing about, examine your thought process, allow yourself enough time to worry about it, use a journal to write thoughts down, and use behavioral techniques to help stop obsessive thought.

What are examples of intrusive thoughts?

Intrusive thoughts are thoughts stuck in your head that can cause distress or be upsetting to you. These thoughts may reoccur quite frequently, which can make things worse as some thoughts may become aggressive.

Examples of intrusive thoughts are when you think about hurting yourself, negative self-talk, sexual thoughts, and delusional thoughts. It could be something like “I do not deserve to be happy,” or it might even sound like, “what if my friends do not like me?”

Is rumination a mental illness?

Rumination is an obsessive way of thinking about past mistakes, failures, or losses. It is often referred to as silent mental illness as its impact on a person is usually underestimated. However, rumination plays quite a big part in different mental illnesses such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety. It is more of a cause for mental illnesses to deepen or for mental illness to develop.

What triggers rumination?

As humans are both rational and emotional beings, we tend to overthink or obsess over certain situations. However, rumination is when we obsessively have reoccurring thoughts about our past, believing that this event did not happen that things in the present would turn out differently.

According to the American Psychological Association, rumination can be triggered by the belief that we have a better understanding of our situation if we ruminate. Another reason is when we have gone through physical or emotional trauma, and lastly, it could be triggered by facing ongoing stress in our life.

Is rumination a symptom of anxiety?

Rumination can be a very distressing and unpleasant experience for a lot of people. It can reach a point where they feel as though they have lost control of their minds for some people. This then leads to symptoms of anxiety and depression. It is more of a common factor for anxiety and depression than a symptom of either of these mental illnesses.

Rumination could be why mental illnesses deepen, as it can cause a person to start believing the negative things that they are telling themselves, which makes them question their worth.


How do I stop OCD intrusive thoughts?

Intrusive thoughts are thoughts that often pop up in our heads unprovoked and often without warning. These thoughts might be very alarming, or they could even be weird. If you are someone with OCD and you are dealing with these intrusive thoughts, what you could do is you could entertain these thoughts, and you allow yourself to think about them, but you also have to allow them to move on as well.

You have to remember that it is nothing more than just a thought, and it should not be able to affect you so much. Not every thought requires an emotional reaction so, take a deep breath and let it go.

What is the best medication for OCD intrusive thoughts?

For the best medication, it will solely depend on your case and what your doctor recommends. Make sure that you can consult with a doctor before you even start to create a medication plan. For OCD, Medication will depend on the age of the person being medicated. If they are ten years and older, the best medication is clomipramine. For adults, paroxetine could be best. Again, consult with a doctor first.

Is intrusive thoughts a mental illness?

No, intrusive thoughts are not considered to be a mental illness. Anyone could experience intrusive thoughts. These thoughts happen to be unprompted, and these thoughts could be sudden, weird, and even aggressive. These thoughts could be a reason for mental illness to be developed or worsen, but it is not a mental illness in itself.

What are intrusive thoughts a sign of?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, everyone could have intrusive thoughts; intrusive thoughts could sign many other mental illnesses. This list is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, anxiety, depression, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Ensure that you can stop these intrusive thoughts from being more than what it is, just thoughts. Once allowed to manifest, these thoughts can cause a lot of concerns for mental and physical health.

What are OCD intrusive thoughts?

Intrusive thoughts are thoughts that are unprompted and very sudden. Although it is not considered to be a mental illness, intrusive thoughts could be a factor in why mental illness worsens. Intrusive thoughts could range from anything weird and funny to violent and scary. It could be very harmful to your mental health, especially when it becomes too much to a point where depression and anxiety start to develop.

How do OCD thoughts start?

Stressful life events could cause OCD thoughts. Maybe you have experienced a traumatic life event at some point, or you might have gone through stressful situations; your risk for this might increase.

Apart from the intrusive thoughts, this could also cause the rituals and emotional distress that characterizes OCD. So, once you start having these thoughts, identify the source and create a possible solution to rid yourself of this. Once you allow yourself to let go of these thoughts, the less we stress ourselves over thoughts that we could control.

What is the root cause of OCD?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or OCD is a mental disorder that can start during late childhood. This disorder affects at least 500 thousand Australians and two to three percent of the world’s population.

The cause of OCD is not yet fully explained or understood; however, there are theories on what causes OCD. The first is because compulsions that turn obsessive are learned behavior. This can become repetitive when they start to feel anxious when they cannot act on that compulsion. Second is brain abnormalities in a person’s chemical, structural, and even functional abilities.

Comorbidities in mental health illnesses are common, especially in depressive disorders. Understanding comorbidities can also determine existing physical diseases correlated to psychological disorders. It can also mean the other way around. But then success is most likely if both conditions receive simultaneous treatment.

There is an implication that comorbidity can worsen the patient’s condition. However, recognizing patterns of these symptoms can help mental health professionals accurately diagnose the illnesses. For instance, pre-existing disorders for rumination may include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other personality disorders.


In the rumination-depression cycle, a person can experience obsessive and recurring distressing thoughts about their situation. Obsessing with the negative thoughts and emotions may worsen and become intrusive. If it happens, harmful thoughts can become more aggressive. It then remains longer on an individual.

Repetitive thoughts can cause a lot of anxiety. It can bring an individual to an endless circle of exhaustion, extreme sadness, and helplessness.

Addressing the rumination due to depression, anxiety, and repetitive thoughts begins in taking smaller actions. Distraction techniques such as meditation and praying sessions can help in breaking this cycle.

Start with taking small actions in working out your problem. Recognize how the negative perceptions of the events in your life can be reappraised. The high expectations you receive from others may also result from unhealthy or unattainable goals you have set yourself. Letting go of these presumptions may also increase your self-esteem and boost your self-confidence in facing those challenges.

Therapy can also help you overcome your ruminating thoughts. Aside from identifying the core of your problem, you can also address the source of your depressive and anxiety symptoms. Most importantly, seek professional help.

The intrusive and obsessive thoughts can become uncontrollable. In case you find yourself drowning in the situation, some experts can provide you assistance. The best course of action to know the suitable treatment plan for you is through your doctor.