Ruminations

A head injury affects your mental health, physiological and psychological health are connected in many ways for most health issues but in a head injury they are pretty indistinguishable - is really is all in the head. I've avoided pretty well all of that which I'm really pleased about but I'm mindful to avoid some situations that I could imagine causing issues - worried about not getting a girlfriend again? best avoid the man your last date dumped you for etc.

But one issue I did have last year was ruminations. My mind would latch onto a particular argument I had and replay it over and over. Whenever I was a bit stressed or grumpy about anything I'd find my mind latching onto this issue again and again replaying it in ways and trying to find different reactions I should have had in order to get a better outcome. As I had new arguments on the same topic over the course of the year my ruminations would change to the latest confrontation getting stronger or weaker depending on how well I felt I'd handled it.

The main coping strategy for this would be to close my eyes and say "No" loudly three times out loud (or if it happened when I was dozing and had eyes closed then open them). This would fairly reliably make it go away.

Ultimately it needed diagnosing that it was caused by my inability to do personal confrontation and then working out how to change that and make myself satisfied with what I could do. Then the issue was resolved in my favour and the ruminations went away. Which I'm very pleased about.

4 Replies

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  • Will try that technique ( or something like it ). Past has passed, present is what's happening now and is a gift , future is what will happen andnismthe only thing we have some control over.

  • Something similar is happening to me, it starts with something that's happened then I follow on the problem/argument whatever it is and create the rest, I can't seem to control the process till I'm deep into it, and my heart is racing, I have to stop everything I am doing and shout to myself 'stop' and count, 'one two three' 'breathe' breathe' 'breathe' think this works best for me, it's taken a long time to get my method to work properly. Never been to a doctor about this, only realised I'm doing it the past 4/6 months. Think I've got my Method and can only improve on it.

  • My mind plays things over and over. I don't seem to be able to control it unlike you. I wake up and the same song segment that was in my mind the previous day is still playing unabated. It's as if something that called out of memory has become trapped in virtual space and the only way to remove it is to replace it with something else. Replacing is not always an easier feat as I'm finding I'm becoming less and less sensitized to new information. Isn't that a normal part of getting older? But surely i'm still too young, or is a damaged brain an aged one? I just don't seem to be able to filter out information, I get overloaded with rubbish and I make the same mistakes again and again.

    From what I've read, it sounds like you're problems are mostly mental health, you're lucky.

  • This is the first time I have read something on the subject. I thought it was only me that suffered replay, dwelling, ruminations. I fell out with a close friend two years ago; she too had the same ABI as I. I couldn't bear her confrontations/accusations during a terrible argument so I cut her off. I felt shaken and deeply hurt. I made myself quite ill over the re-living and rumination. This has to be quite a common side effect to brain injury. I really think we need to consider long and hard before we pass any critical comment, and to bear in mind we've lost our filters, so how we communicate can sound harsh and unkind. I'm angry with my friend for having pushed the limits!!

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