Rumination and Self-destructive Thoughts in People with Depression


  • Kelsie Moore Mount Royal University



self, self-awareness, goal-setting, worry, rumination, depression, hopelessness, self-destruction, suicide


Increasing rates of suicide have peaked interest in how individuals with depression may view their environment differently and have abnormal thought processes compared to non-depressed individuals. In order to explore how depressive thought processes lead to completed suicide, this review of literature looks at research and theoretical explanations of rumination, self-destructive thoughts, and feelings of hopelessness. People with depression are more attentive to both their own and other people’s actions and have a strong desire for control. Rumination prevents effective problem solving and increases the duration of depressive symptoms. Highly self-aware individuals often attend to discrepancies between the real self and who they wish to be, which causes distress and overthinking about negative aspects of problems while neglecting the development of solutions. Suicide is one method of escaping the self when these discrepancies become salient and continual failure also leads to feelings of hopelessness. Positive distraction such as getting involved in hobbies as well as the promotion of optimistic and hopeful thoughts may help depressive ruminators refrain from negative thoughts and may ultimately help prevent suicide.

Author Biography

Kelsie Moore, Mount Royal University

BA, Psychology, MRU


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How to Cite

Moore, K. (2015). Rumination and Self-destructive Thoughts in People with Depression. Behavioural Sciences Undergraduate Journal, 2(1), 5–12.