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  • Writer's pictureAVHD Podcast

All About Rumination

Updated: Mar 28


Rumination is something that people with ADHD struggle with since we tend to hyperfixate on certain ideas or topics quite often. Rumination is defined as a cycle of negative thoughts or a vicious thought circle.

We tend to ruminate to try and make sense of situations that we've experienced because we believe that replaying the situation and overanalyzing the occurrence or problem over and over again can possibly give us a sense of clarity or an answer... even though it's often just hurting us more in the long run.

What are the 4 different types of Rumination?

According to this study we found in the National Library of Medicine, there are 4 different types of rumination and they're not all negative: Brooding, Reflective, Intrusive, and Deliberate.

We've found this helpful article from Sandstone Care that delves deep into each type of rumination.

Brooding Rumination

This is a type of rumination that involves passively thinking about a situation in the light that you were the issue. It causes you to look at yourself more negatively and think about what you did wrong and what you could have done instead to change what happened.

Reflective Rumination

This type of rumination is more positive. It's an inward examination of why a person feels the way they do. Often, this type of rumination is used in therapy; it's a method for people to learn how to grasp why a situation happened and why things are the way they are, often resulting in a solution to a problem.

Intrusive Rumination

This type of rumination is like an intrusive thought and can occur out of the blue. It involves unintentional and uncontrolled thoughts related to a more stressful occurrence. An example of this is when you say you're not going to think about something, and a while later you find yourself captivated by the thing you're trying not to think about.

Deliberate Rumination

This is an active type of rumination where a person is actively trying to think about a problem or situation to attempt to comprehend it from every different angle. Also common in therapy, this type of situation involves putting yourself in someone else's shoes, your shoes, and every bystander's shoes. It's an attempt to try and get to the bottom of whatever's happening to come to a conclusion of sorts.

How Do We Cope?

Okay, cool, so now we know all about rumination... how do we break the cycle and stop ruminating or start ruminating in a more helpful way?


To deal with rumination, we recommend journaling; sometimes a stream-of-consciousness journal entry or shadow work journal can help you get out of your head and break the cycle of rumination, and possibly come to a conclusion on the page.

Keep Yourself Busy

Try something new! Pour yourself into work (within reason). Plan outings with friends. Plan a vacation with an itinerary. Try a hobby on for size. Sometimes keeping yourself busy can help you forget what you were ruminating on entirely.

Move On

Sometimes you just have to say, "womp womp," and move on.


A therapist can always help in breaking you out of your rumination and a nonbiased third party can be extremely beneficial in finding clarity in light of the thought cycle currently plaguing you.

What do you do to cope with rumination? Let us know!

Listen to our episode on Rumination Here.

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