Do sex differences in rumination explain sex differences in depression?

  • Sex Differences in Rumination and Depression
  • Tracey J. Shors, Emma M. Millon, Han Yan M. Chang, Ryan L. Olson, Brandon L. Alderman
  • Journal of Neuroscience Research, November 2016, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1002/jnr.23976

Sex Differences in Depression & Rumination

What is it about?

Rumination is the repeated rehearsal of thoughts, usually negative and autobiographical in nature. They are linked with depression. We examined their prevalence in men and women with depression before and after MAP Training, a novel intervention that combines meditation and aerobic exercise (for more information please see MAPTRAINMYBRAIN.COM). We analyzed data from men and women with depression. Although ruminative thoughts were linked with depressive symptoms, they were not necessarily more evident in women than men. But because more women experience depression, their presence is likely mediating or at least maintaining some of their symptoms.

Why is it important?

Why are women more vulnerable to depression and other stress-related mental illness? Ruminative thoughts are prevalent in women and men diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD). Therefore, they may not "explain" sex differences in depression but because they are so prevalent, they are an important target for therapies like MAP Training (see MAPTRAINMYBRAIN.COM)

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Tracey J. Shors