Rumination OCD Test & Symptoms

Rumination is an extremely prevalent feature of OCD, and describes the process through which the OCD sufferer attempts tomentally solve the problems OCD presents to them.

Rumination & OCD

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a common and treatable mental health condition and one in which thoughts can become intrusive, distressing, and disabling and result in an urge to engage in compulsive behaviors to alleviate fear and anxiety. People don’t need to suffer in silence when they experience this condition.Understanding how the condition functions and how you can become empowered to respond differently is a primary step in the healing process.

Rumination OCD can take the form of repeating internal mantras, thought replacement, engaging in ritualistic prayer, and mental review of situations or actions to ensure no harm has happened. Rumination consists of devoting any attention to or engagement with the fears and worries caused by OCD in an attempt to solve these problems or otherwise decrease anxiety and fear.

Rumination OCD can significantly impact your life and can worsen both OCD symptoms and depression.

What is Rumination OCD?

Rumination is a major component of OCD for all sufferers, and causes a person to spend a great deal of their time worrying about, trying to understand, and overanalyzing a specific intrusive thought or string of thoughts that are disturbing and anxiety-provoking. This is a common and driving aspect to all forms and subtypes of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

A common misconception is that rumination, since it’s a fixation on specific intrusive thoughts, is a type of obsession. This isn’t the case, as obsessions are something that spontaneously occur in the brain, and are intrusive and unbidden, which is why many professionals just refer to them simply as “intrusive thoughts”. For people who suffer from OCD, obsessive thoughts just seem to pop into your brain with no warning.

On the other hand, rumination is best described as an effortful and volitional response to obsessions, and is therefore considered a compulsion. Rumination is employed to figure out where intrusive thoughts are coming from, how legitimate, realistic, or serious they are, whether the feared event could have happened or will happen, and how the risk they present can be mitigated or otherwise undone.

Feeling Like Your Can’t Stop Rumination

Rumination is marked by a subjective sense of being unable to stop, which characterizes all forms of compulsive behavior. Rumination is also maintained by the belief that:

  • Rumination allows you to gain better insight into a specific problem or your life.
  • Rumination is something that cannot be stopped or interrupted.
  • That rumination actually prevents feared outcomes from occurring and is therefore both necessary and beneficial.

In reality, none of these beliefs is accurate as rumination is a form of compulsion and therefore actually strengthens and reinforces obsessions and intrusive thoughts and thus exacerbates the OCD cycle.


    Signs and Symptoms of Rumination OCD

    There are a wide variety of symptoms that one will notice if they suffer from Rumination OCD. These symptoms of obsessions and compulsions include:

    • Thoughts that are disturbing, such as the thoughts or fear of potentially harming someone.
    • Avoiding areas or persons to prevent being ‘triggered’
    • Spending a lot of time thinking about past events or memories and reviewing them to ensure that no danger is present
    • Constantly worrying about sources of potential
    • Constant fear of something happening to people you love
    • Fear that if things aren’t done in a specific way that things will go wrong
    • Long periods of time focused on thinking about existential topics
    • Intense need for and thoughts of perfection
    • Disturbing thoughts about inappropriate sexual activities

    Gaining Control of Rumination

    Gaining control of your thought processes and ruminative tendencies may seem like a futile task, but one that is very possible if you seek out help for your condition. Skillful OCD treatment can equip you to interrupt this cycle and can also help you gain insight and clarity about how your thought processes are unwittingly contributing to your suffering.

    Take a Rumination OCD Test

    There are online options for taking a Rumination OCD quiz so that you can determine whether or not you may suffer from this condition. It’s common for people with Rumination OCD to feel a;lone, fearful, guilt-ridden, or ashamed, but by taking a Rumination OCD quiz right at home you can get the answers you need to help you move forward towards recovery.


    Rumination OCD Treatments

    The best treatment for Rumination OCD employs elements from several different approaches, which include:

    • Exposure and response therapy (ERP), which is aimed at helping the individual better control and tolerate the anxiety associated with rumination. The goal is to reduce compulsive responses to triggers through gradual and strategic exposure.
    • Mindfulness-based behavioral therapy (MBBT) teaches mindfulness along with ERP therapy to enhance the effectiveness of treatment and to help you learn how to direct your energy and attention where it can best be utilized.