I know what you’re thinking…what is perseverative thinking? Perseverative thinking is thinking or ruminating on the same NEGATIVE thing over and over again. It’s the thoughts “getting stuck,” keeping the person’s mood and thoughts held captive. Many times it is associated with the Autism Spectrum, but it can actually affect those who suffer with anxiety and/or depression. A person with a brain-injury can also possibly experience perseverative thinking.

Basically, a person with perseverative cognition can get stuck in a “rut” of sorts, which can look like the following: focusing on a subject too much, discussing a subject to fruition and the person circling the conversation back to the same subject again, worrying about something without checking things out, focusing too much on one thing and specifically ignoring everything else. This is not to be confused with obsessive compulsive disorder.

Treatment can include cognitive behavioral training, single or group counseling, and medication — or a mix and match of the aforementioned treatments.

I know that having C-PTSD and anxiety, as a survivor of DV, I could often find myself spiraling into this type of thinking. Honestly, a nap reset was what usually snapped me out of it. I first noticed it when I thought about one aspect of a dream that I had the night before, over and over and over…and also thought that peculiar. I might repeat a phrase that I heard on the radio over and over multiple times too. Of course, I also have a TBI, so my doctor assured me that was normal. He instructed me to think of a song that I liked and sing it and I would go on to something else, essentially hurling myself out of that “rut.” It probably doesn’t work for everyone, but did for me. Noticing these things is a part of helping yourself OUT of the spiral!