Is depression trapped in your head?

In this blog post, we will be discussing the topic: trapped in my head depression. The phrase is mainly referring to how overthinking and racing thoughts affect one’s mental health through depression. We will examine the nature of overthinking, how it aggravates your anxiety levels, and eventually lead to depression. Depression that arises out of overthinking tends to keep you stuck in loops of thoughts and automatic behaviors that are unhealthy and detrimental to your mental health. 

At the end of the blog post, we will also be answering a couple of frequently asked questions about depression and anxiety that arises out of racing thoughts and overthinking. 

Trapped in my head depression

To be trapped in one’s head means to be entangled in a constant loop of thoughts and not being aware of the current moment and surroundings. When you are trapped inside your head, you swim around a pool of endless thoughts and you end up paying zero attention to what is actually happening around you. 

Often when you are trapped in your head, you tend to overthink and indulge in unnecessary rumination about things that are not even that important. This leads to disturbances in your sense of calm and gradually your rational thinking starts to get clouded by your distorted judgments and assumptions. 

Overthinking makes you feel stuck and suffocated. It does not allow you to think broadly and from different perspectives. It’s a vicious cycle that constantly keeps you on the edge and sabotages your peace of mind. It starts from one single thought or assumption, leading to several others that follow ensuite.

 When you ruminate excessively or overthink persistently about a particular situation, person, or emotion, it causes extreme discomfort that inevitably triggers anxious thoughts and feelings. Gradually, you will find yourself stuck in a given situation or with a particular person and the deteriorating cycle continues to harm you in various ways. 

Signs that you are stuck inside your head

  • A drastic change in your sleep cycle. It could be an excessive amount of sleep or a lack of sleep. 
  • You experience constant fear of failure and dejection in various situations and from people as well. 
  • Over-analyzing and over-estimating the danger/threat involved in a given situation and misreading the available information. 
  • Persistently second-guessing yourself and your abilities to an overwhelming extent
  • Feeling rigid, stiff, and experiencing sore muscles. 
  • Indulging in unhealthy/harmful coping behaviors or safety behaviors to protect yourself.
  • Constantly negating or avoiding situations to avoid facing or confronting them. 
  • Persistently acting upon your negative thoughts, emotions, and feelings. 
  • Forgetfulness, disorientation, irritability, and excessive agitation. 
  • Physical sensations such as rapid heartbeats, difficulty in breathing, dry mouth, nausea, shivering/tremors, and a general feeling of unease, frequently. 
  • Constantly feeling tired, exhausted, hopeless, and disinterested in day to day activities. 
  • Experiencing a strong tendency to make excuses and indulge in the blame game for avoiding confrontation or being attacked mentally or physically in particular situations or the presence of certain people. 

The risks involved in overthinking

When your mind is on overdrive or when you are constantly overthinking, it exhausts and drains you out. It leads to mental and physical fatigue that gradually causes health problems and complications. Overthinking takes its refugee in an emotional-based pattern of thinking and when you try to gain logic out of emotions, it causes utter chaos and disruptions in our entire system. 

Of course, having a good cry can be beneficial in restoring a balance in your overall well-being. It relieves you of stress and helps you to let go of unhealthy sensations residing in your body. However, when our thinking becomes obsessive, it causes extreme distress and spoils our peace of mind. It pushes us to the holds of a vicious cycle that involves distress, anxiety, and depression. 

Overthinking and depression – the inevitable link

Several studies and established researches have pointed out that those individuals who are prone to overthink are more likely to suffer from depression, eventually. People who overthink continuously do so under the assumption that they are figuring out ways to deal with their underlying issues. Unfortunately, their thinking is pre-dominantly past-focused and this makes it naturally difficult for them to come up with healthy coping strategies and to find the motivation to follow through on one particular solution. 

Overthinking also aggravates the intensity of a particular situation or problem and drains out our energy and valuable time that could have been otherwise used for working through a rational and possible solution. You start to pay the price of exhaustion and agitation, without any benefits in return.  This leads to depressive thoughts and emotions that start to show up regularly as you continue to stay in the vicious cycle of overthinking. 

The cycle of obsessive thoughts. 

The pattern of obsessive thinking has the potential to feed on itself and this, in turn, provides the circuits in the brain with the information that it can continue to stay in the same cycle, without trying to get out of it. These obsessive thoughts further make us engage in thoughtless and automatic coping behaviors that are harmful and undesirable for our mental well-being.  

The illusionary reality 

When you are stuck inside your head, you are inevitably detached from your reality. Yout thoughts that arise out of rumination becomes your reality and you often miss out on what’s happening in the present moment and what your body is trying to convey to you. You reside in an alternative reality wherein you put your focus on pessimistic thoughts and keep away from engaging with people around you who love and care for you. 

This constant need to analyze things without wanting to act and do something to bring about a positive change leads to strain in relationships with friends and family and this further leads to isolation. You will get easily irritated and annoyed by the most trivial things and overlook situations that are irrelevant and catastrophize the whole situation to an extreme level. 

When you try to work out things inside your head and avoid feeling what’s inside your body, it increases the intensity of your problems instead of lessening them. Our mind constantly craves the high of satisfaction derived from the illusion of figuring out things continuously. However, when we come up with various explanations for our feelings and thoughts, they won’t be based on our actual reality and it often deviates us from rationally approaching the problem at hand. 

Unhealthy coping mechanisms

Unhealthy coping mechanisms include substance abuse, acting out in anger, avoidance, blocking the constant chatter in mind, and other destructive behaviors like over-eating and drug abuse. Although these behaviors help you to cope temporarily, the problems find a way to return with additional troubles such as problems with relationships, health, finances, or career. 

When you are stuck inside your head, it usually means you are trying to be in control of each and everything in your life and this, in turn, enhances the limiting beliefs we hold about ourselves, other people, and the world around us. We keep perceiving every situation in one particular way that does not help us to get out of the cycle. 

This mostly occurs in those individuals who find their body an unsafe place to reside in because of any kind of past abuse or because of worsening of situations when they cried or openly expressed their emotions. When these individuals allow their bodies to feel and process what needs to be felt, it challenges their limiting beliefs and thoughts. They will gradually find the strength to get out of their heads and do something to deal with their problems while being aligned to their reality. 

 healthy ways to cope

  • Engage in a rational problem-solving pattern of thinking. Take charge to shift your obsessive thinking into productive and helpful thinking that is reality-based and strategic. For this, try assessing the value of your thoughts. If your thoughts are helping you to come up with rational and spontaneous solutions for your problems, stick to them. Otherwise, abandon them and shift your perspective before you get stuck in a trap of unnecessary thoughts. 
  • Challenge and question your thoughts. When you challenge and question the genuineness of your thoughts, you gain clarity on their importance and whether or not you need to spend time dwelling upon them. For this to happen, you must allow yourself to feel your fears completely, without letting them consume you. Imagine the worst-case scenario and see what happens at the end of your thought process. Ask yourself if these fears will matter in time to come and if you can deal with them effectively and healthily. 
  • Practice the gif of mindfulness. Mindfulness helps in reducing the intensity of rumination and mindless thinking. It also holds other benefits such as the alleviation of stress, anxiety, improved focus and memory, and enhanced quality of life. It allows you to be completely grounded and present in the current moment, without getting lost in an unnecessary cycle of thoughts and emotions. 
  • Be kind and compassionate to yourself. This helps immensely to be aware of your own inner-critic and the harm it’s causing you. Criticizing and belittling yourself leads to a lack of self-worth and self-respect. It breeds more negativity and does not allow you to process your emotions healthily. Treat yourself with the same kindness, love, and care you would provide to another in times of need. It is important to show up for yourself and cherish the human you are. 

Conclusion

In this blog post, we discussed the topic: trapped in my head depression. We discussed the perils of overthinking, the signs that indicate you are being stuck inside your head and a cycle of unhealthy thoughts and emotions, and the risks involved in overthinking. We also explored the link between overthinking and depression and the cycle of obsessive thoughts that causes harm to your overall well-being. A brief discussion of avoidance of reality was also done along with the different kinds of unhealthy coping mechanisms people indulge in and certain healthy ways to cope with the dangers of overthinking and rumination. 

FAQs: trapped in my head depression

Can depression make your brain hurt?

Yes, depression leads to a situation called brain inflammation. Those people who suffer from major depressive episodes possess a higher level of translocator proteins. These chemicals are linked to brain inflammation. Research has also shown that these proteins are in higher amounts in people who have had the untreated major depressive disorder for more than ten years or longer. 

How do you escape your mind?

You can escape your mind by starting to focus on your breath.  Indulge in mindful breathing and if you notice your mind wandering, simply observe your mind and its course of movement without acting upon it. Observe keenly and with a sense of curiosity and gently bring your mind back to the point of focus. 

References

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