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Intrusive thoughts are the numerous irrelevant thoughts that occur to a person in a situation. The unpleasant nature of these thoughts can lead to several disorders and conditions that affect the mental health of a person. Excessive and frequent occurrence of intrusive thoughts in a person invariably results in depression.
Depression is a kind of mental disorder that negatively affects the way one thinks, feels, and reacts to a situation. It can be either long term or temporary and causes feelings such as sadness and loss of interest in real life, which has the capability to depress a person’s mood and efficiency at work. Depression can hinder concentration and contribute to keeping the person stuck on a particular thought or past incident.
It is among the most common mental disorders and affects about 10% of the population.
Types of depressive thoughts
Repetitive thoughts are the major causes of mental depression. People who suffer from depression often get stuck with a single or bunch of intrusive thoughts that arise frequently. These types of repetitive intrusive thoughts are known as Rumination. People who easily get upset and brood over a problem again and again in their daily life are called ruminators.
For instance, when a person is facing a problem, the right way to go about it is to solve or overcome it. However, the ruminator takes an exceedingly long time over it, studying and analyzing it for hours. He repeatedly thinks about the problem and forgets to find a solution for it. That is when the repetitive thoughts turn problematic. If a situation pushes one into a bad mood, repeated thinking about it will upset the person and stop all his activity for as long as the thought stays with him.
Recent research has proved that people with repetitive intrusive thoughts have huge possibilities of developing depression and anxiety. Such people face a tough time in relieving themselves from the problem and overcoming their thoughts. The baseline cause of both disorders is intrusive thoughts. Several studies have showcased that people who suffer from depression are subject to frequent repetitive thoughts.
Both anxiety and depression are interlinked. Some people may have depression and then develop anxiety; a person who suffers from anxiety might develop depression; finally, a person might have both anxiety and depression concurrently.
Generally, intrusive thoughts play a vital role in creating anxiety that eventually leads to depression. For instance, the sudden death of a loved one causes depression, which may fade as days pass. However, repeated intrusive thoughts of that incident may create anxiety. Anxiety plays an important role in making the depression go deeper.
Examples of intrusive thoughts in depression may include:
Although it is not very easy to neglect depressive thoughts, there are some common alternatives that can help one to avoid such thoughts from plaguing them. These include: