continuous negative thoughts are triggered by specific situations – WWN

continuous negative thoughts are triggered by specific situations – WWN

Of Danilo Di Diodoro

In adolescents, especially girls, peer group rejection can lead to mental rumination, which in turn is a risk factor for developing anxiety and depression.

There are people who have a tendency to think and rethink to episodes and experiences of one’s life, generally of a specific nature negativethe so-called mental rumination, a phenomenon that can trigger type reactions depressive and anxious.

I study

Research published in Journal of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience now demonstrates that this tendency is supported by a particular activation pattern of some brain areas. The research was carried out on a group of teenage girls who were exposed to a virtual experience of social rejection while being studied through functional MRI of the brain. A technique that allows you to see the activation of individual brain areas live. High levels of psychological rumination were associated with a greater level of activity in areas such as the precuneus, a brain clearinghouse implicated in processing information relevant to personal identity, the study authors say. The precuneus, together with other areas such as the medial prefrontal cortex and the posterior cingulate cortex, are regions that are activated when we think about ourselves, our experiences and the reprocessing of memories. We all experience rejection from others, but the experience is not the same for each of us, says Amanda Guyer of the Center for Mind and Brain at the University of California at Davis, who coordinated the research.

Risky situations

Be able to identify brain processes that generate differences in the tendency to ruminate thoughts can help us prevent rumination from causing long-term damage. Thinking and rethinking adverse events in your life a risk factor for depression and anxiety, but also for substance use, eating and sleep disorders, especially during adolescence. Girls are more frequently subject to this type of phenomenon than boys and it is attributed the main responsibility for the higher female incidence of depression and anxiety during adolescence. An important role in initiating the phenomena of rumination played by rejections suffered by the peer group or even just from verbal signals of poor social acceptance, and this is why the research coordinated by Amanda Guyer simulated this type of situation in the laboratory. Adolescence involves, especially for girls, a particularly marked sensitivity towards social relationships, with an increase in emotions regarding the self with the relative risk of psychological ruminations, conclude the authors of the study.

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February 3, 2024 (changed February 3, 2024 | 08:00)

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