Mental Health Problems Make People Think Negative all The Time

Mental Health Problems Make People Think Negative all The Time

14-08-2018   |   Posted By: Chhavi   |   1439 View(s)

There are many people who have a hard time being positive. You must have met someone at least once in your life who is always thinking either about the past or the future and who is seldom positive. But how come some people are optimistic, while some always find a way to be negative? You will be surprised to know that optimism and pessimism have got a lot to do with a person’s mental health. According to a recent study, mental health doesn’t allow us to think positive. Yes, it is true! Mental health problems make people think negative.

According to the study, many patients with neuropsychiatric disorders focus more on the possible downside of a given situation than the potential benefit. Anxiety and depression are attributed to diseases that originate from the nervous system.


Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology pinpointed a region in the brain that can generate a pessimistic mood. In tests in animals, they showed that stimulating this region, known as the caudate nucleus, probed them to make more negative decisions. They gave more importance to the anticipated drawback of a situation than its benefit, compared to when the region was not stimulated.

These types of huge decisions, which require weighing options with both negative and positive elements, tend to cause a great deal of anxiety. The study showed that chronic stress also affects this kind of decision-making drastically. More stress generally leads to choosing high-risk and high-payoff options.

In this new study, the researchers wanted to see if they could reproduce an effect that is usually seen in people with anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. These patients tend to engage in behaviours designed to fight negative thoughts and to give more importance to the potential negative outcome of a given situation. The researchers suspected that this kind of negative thinking could influence approach-avoidance decision-making.

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The researchers also wanted to test this hypothesis, and so they stimulated the caudate nucleus, a region in the brain linked to emotional decision-making, with a small electrical current as animals were offered a reward with an unpleasant stimulus. In each trial, the ratio of the award to the aversive stimuli was different, and the animals could choose whether to accept it or reject it.

Cost-benefit analysis is required for this kind of decision-making. When the caudate nucleus was stimulated by the researchers, the calculation of the cost-benefit analysis became skewed, and the animals started avoiding combinations that they would have accepted previously. This continued to happen even after the stimulation ended, and after a point, it gradually disappeared.

The result of the study suggests that the animals began to devalue the reward that they wanted previously, and focused more on the cost of the aversive stimulus.

The researchers also found that brainwave activity in the caudate nucleus was altered when the patterns of decision-making changed. This change is in beta frequency and can serve as a biomarker to monitor whether animals or patients respond to drug treatment.

The bottom line is mental health problems can have a huge impact on your life. Hence, if you also have this habit of thinking negative all the time, then it is time to consult a psychiatrist because it is best to treat mental health problems on time. If you are going through a tough phase of life and feeling stressed, talk to your friends and give time to your hobbies to get rid of negative thoughts.

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