In animals, rumination is a part of normal digestion, in which the animal (known as a ruminant) brings up swallowed food (usually grass or hay), chews it, and swallows it. This aids the animal by allowing it to eat quickly and chew later while it is resting. Also, rumination is a way of responding to distress that involves repetitively focusing on the symptoms of distress, and on its possible causes and consequences. Rumination is more common in people who are pessimistic, neurotic, and who have negative attributional styles. The tendency to ruminate is a stable constant over time and serves as a significant risk factor for clinical depression. Not only are habitual ruminators more likely to become depressed, but experimental studies have demonstrated that people who are induced to ruminate experience greater depressed mood.There is also evidence that rumination is linked to general anxiety, post traumatic stress, binge drinking, eating disorders, and self-injurious behavior.
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