Rumination and Unipolar Depression: How Do We Change Such Negative Thoughts?

2327 Words Dec 15th, 2013 10 Pages
Rumination and Unipolar Depression: How Do We Change Such Negative Thoughts?
PY3103: Psychopathology
Syed Mohammad Alwi Aidid
James Cook University (Singapore)
12717347
Tutorial C

Abstract
Ruminative thinking has been found to be one of the most common symptoms in patients suffering from unipolar depression due to their tendency to reflect upon themselves negatively. In this essay, the manner in which this thinking pattern has been found to worsen patients’ depressed condition is further investigated. Subsequently, a large part of it will explore research on two forms of treatment that have been tested for its work with depressive rumination, specifically, metacognitive therapy, which seeks to removing patients’ Cognitive
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278). Lyubomirsky et al. (2006), in citing from Nolen-Hoeksema’s response styles theory, mention that ruminative response styles may also impede depressed patients’ attention span and ability to engage in normal everyday behaviours, for example, impairing concentration on academic tasks and reducing one’s confidence and commitment to completing a simple task (p. 278). The last two ways in which rumination worsens depressed patients’ distress, according to the response styles theory, is by interfering with more complicated interpersonal problem-solving and through reducing one’s motivation, stopping ruminators from taking the appropriate action resolve any problems they may be facing or improve their emotional state (Lyubomirsky et al., 2006, pp. 278-279). However, while it may seem that ruminators find themselves stuck in this vicious cycle with no way out of it, research has shown that there are ways to help such individuals.
Metacognitive therapy (MCT) is one way of treating individuals who experience depressive rumination. Wells et al. (2012) state that the goals of MCT are to help patients by removing what is known as the Cognitive Attentional Syndrome and modifying metacognitive beliefs (p.368).
According to Wells et al. (2012), Cognitive Attentional Syndrome (CAS) “consists of chains of verbal processing in the form of rumination and worry, a pattern of attention called ‘threat-monitoring’, and other coping and self-regulatory behaviours that have ironic effects
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