A majority of the kids I see suffer from either anxiety or depression issues. At some point or another, the pendulum swings from states of anxiety to states of depression. Worried brains share ineffective loops much like depressed brains. Depressed kids have a hard time stopping the loop of negative thought and affect. This endless negative loop is called rumination. Much like the endless worry loop anxious kids engage in, depressed kids engage in a comparable and similarly ineffective problem solving approach. Kids often get "stuck" in a repetition of negative thoughts. An over focus on thinking related to negative affect leads to depressive behaviors which leads to depressive thoughts and then results in lowered mood. Once kids get on this negative loop it is much like a roller coaster ride that doesn't get you very far.
Here are some tips on how to help kids get "unstuck":
1. Use the metaphor of riding a roller coaster. Give kids the choice not to get on the ride or to choose to get off the ride.
2. Acknowledge that rumination is an ineffective problem solving method. Much like the roller coaster it gets you right back where you started. It doesn't get you positive results....just more negative thoughts and feelings.
3. Ask your kids the following questions: