Stabilizing Two Negative Spirals: Depression and Anxiety

Woman Hands In Front Of Face

Depression and anxiety may seem like separate problems, yet research shows we may suffer depression and anxiety at the same time. The International Consensus Group on Depression and Anxiety concluded in 2009 that depression and anxiety frequently occur simultaneously. The group also concluded that antidepressants and cognitive-behavior therapy work well as depression anxiety treatment.

In a workbook designed to help those who experience depression anxiety, author Dr. Thomas Marra explains, “You have no energy to do things but seemingly boundless energy to feel panic, dread, negative anticipation about the future, and the sense that your world as you previously knew it has changed.” Dr. Marra’s workbook introduces a type of depression anxiety treatment known as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) .“If you look at high anxiety and high depression as existing along a continuum of arousal,” Marra says, “then interventions or techniques designed to make arousal more stable and under conscious control will work for both sets of disorders.”

Depression Anxiety Symptoms

How can you know if you experience depression anxiety without a depression anxiety quiz? Popular cultural views of the withdrawn Edward Scissorhands and the nervous white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland present depression and anxiety as distinct disorders but the Community Psychological Services of Florida Tech (CPS) points out depressed individuals can be nervous and tense without being withdrawn. “Those with ‘agitated’ depression,” CPS says, “often appear angry, resentful, and may have difficulty expressing feelings of sadness.” In a 2009 study published in the 2009 Journal of Anxiety Disorders, Andrew G. Viana and Brian Rabiana conclude that two common anxiety sensitivities, fear of the loss of mental control and fear of publically observable anxiety symptoms, predict depression. Penn State News quotes Viana: “What we found was that the fear of the cognitive sensations typical of anxiety, like the inability to concentrate, was related to depression.” In other words, the anxieties led to depression.

Depressed anxious persons endure symptoms of both. Loss of interest in and withdrawal from social activities leads to pressure from family, which leads to anxiety. Anxiety on the job, at school or in the home leads to depression. The overall pessimistic view of self, sense of worthlessness and dissatisfaction can lead to suicidal tendencies. Those who suffer the combination of depression and anxiety may carry the heaviest burden. “Anxiety and depression are both negative spirals,” Marra says. “One breeds the other, especially if the existence of either one is prolonged or severe.”

Depression anxiety stress scale (DASS)

A depression anxiety test can help determine the severity of depression anxiety. While there is no official term for depression anxiety, the DASS views depression and anxiety as interrelated. The Psychology Foundation of Australia asserts DASS measures depression, anxiety and stress as a means to better understand and measure these common negative mental states. While the test can be downloaded and requires no special skills to administer, interpretation of the test is best left to qualified professionals.

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