This month is Mental Health Awareness Month, and as SelfWork has been named one of the ten top podcasts for depression by VeryWellMind for 2023 – I wanted to focus on just that. Depression. I’m pulling from a talk by Dr. Michael Yapko, an expert on depression, as he lists the five most common mental mistakes that people struggling with depression tend to make – those mistakes can cause depression to be increased, and can start a negative spiral that, given the right circumstances, could lead to depression or worsen it. But, as I heard Michele Obama say to a group of young women the other day, “You become what you practice being.” I couldn’t agree more.
So today we’ll talk about the habit of rumination. What’s that? It’s when you have one thought – a negative thought or a string of thoughts – that repeat themselves over and over again. I’ve heard it called a negative spiral or “letting myself drown in the past.” We’ll compare it to the much healthier habit of self-reflection which isn’t solely a “mental” practice, but also one that can blend in emotional feelings and dynamics. Maybe you do have feelings that still need to be worked through; rumination will probably not lead you there, whereas self-reflection just might.
Our voicemail for today needs a trigger warning as it was left by someone who states that she’s attempted suicide multiple times. A therapist has told her family that she’s only trying to get attention, and to ignore her. She’s asking me what my advice to her family might be… This is a complex subject, so I’ll answer it as simply as I can – and that may not do justice to her question.
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You can hear more about this and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive my weekly newsletter including a blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!
My book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression is available here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life. And it’s available in paperback, eBook or as an audiobook!
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