Are you living with depression and anxiety? Do you know that there is a common psychological factor among depression and anxiety? One scary psychological aspect you need to know is if you want to cure depression and anxiety. You have to know this because it’s the only way to fix your depression and anxiety. If you feel fear-stricken and depressed all the time, you’re not alone. This mental illness impacts millions of people all over the world. It’s no secret that human beings are prone to mental illnesses, but other things are at play, causing so many of us to have symptoms consistent with depression or anxiety.
The common psychological factor among depression and anxiety
The most common psychological factor among depression and anxiety is “feeling overwhelmed,” said Dr. Kenneth Zucker, chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at New York University Langone Medical Center.
“The feeling that you’re struggling to keep up with everything,” he said, “is a common experience, widespread, among patients with anxiety and depression.”
“Dr. Zucker says that the feeling of overwhelm happens to all of us sometimes, but it’s especially problematic in people who are depressed or anxious.
“When you feel overloaded, your thinking slows down, and that, in turn, may activate symptoms like irritability, agitation, fatigue and problems with concentration,” said Dr. Zucker.
“Unmanaged, these feelings can spiral into full-fledged depression and anxiety,” he said.
For people who are depressed, feeling overwhelmed can feed feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, which, in turn, can worsen depression.
Anxiety can be made worse by feeling overloaded, too.
“The experience of anxiety is one where you’re worrying, and thinking about the future, and worrying about the past, and feeling like you’re always on edge,” said Dr. Zucker. “So you tend to be hypervigilant, and that’s one of the symptoms of anxiety.”
People with depression or anxiety often also experience feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, fatigue and problems with concentration.
These negative thoughts and feelings can contribute to feelings of vulnerability, leading to more negative thoughts and feelings.
“So even if you’re already feeling relatively calm and relaxed, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, it can trigger that downward spiral that starts with negative thoughts and feelings,” said Dr. Zucker.
Fear of failing
According to an article published in Harvard Business Review, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem are among the top 10 reasons people avoid taking action.
“Whenever you’re afraid of failing, you tend to avoid taking action,” writes David Rock, a Ph.D. psychology professor at the University of California, San Diego, and co-author of the book, The Confidence Code.
“People who express anxiety are often afraid to fail, so they avoid developing skills or taking risks. They’ll stay where they are, even if they’re unhappy because they’re afraid of being vulnerable,” Rock writes.
People who lack confidence, however, are typical “risk-takers.” They have the temperament to build and try out new skills.
Unfortunately, Rock points out; this trait is “often viewed as undesirable.”
“People who are confident are perceived as arrogant,” he writes. “They’re also often perceived as having high self-esteem. That’s problematic because high self-esteem can be detrimental to learning and growth – which is the opposite of what you want.”
So how can you increase your self-confidence?
First, pay attention to your self-talk. Do you talk to yourself as though you’re a terrible person? Do you tell yourself you’re unlovable?
“Self-talk is how your brain talks to itself,” says Rock. “If you always think you’re stupid or fat or unattractive, your brain will judge you accordingly.”
Second, realize that you aren’t broken, says Rock. “You don’t have to be perfect, and you don’t have to be perfect now. But the first step to improving is to stop believing, ‘I’m broken.’”
A new study suggests there’s a way to beat anxiety, depression and stress.
It’s all about social comparison.
According to researchers from New Zealand, the phenomenon, which has been studied over the years, is the “root of much stress and anxiety in modern society.”
“Social comparison describes the way that people compare themselves to others to gain status or achievement,” they write in a paper published in the journal Current Biology.
“It may thus be seen as the root of much stress and anxiety in modern society.”
In the study, the researchers analyzed the eye movements of 120 young participants while they viewed images of other people.
“These ratings were graded for each participant on a 1-5 scale, where 1 represented ‘very negative’ and 5 ‘very positive,'” they write.
The eye movements were then analyzed to discover exactly what was being compared.
“Overall, participants rated the social comparison stimuli (face images) as significantly more negative than non-social comparison stimuli (non-face images),” they write.
“This effect was more pronounced for the eyes, as rated by participants, than for the mouth, as rated by participants.”
The researchers believe that social comparison is a vital part of socialization, which helps children learn how to behave in different situations.
“The social comparison effect is thus not just an aspect of human psychology, but also an evolutionary adaptation,” they write.
“By comparing themselves to others, people learn which behaviors lead to status within a given group and thus, what behaviors to avoid.”
Anxiety can TRIGGER depression – or depression can trigger ANXIETY
Anxiety and depression are two sides of the same coin. Both disorders share many of the same symptoms.
Anxiety and depression are closely related, and anxiety and depression often occur together. Recent studies show that nearly 15% of depression and anxiety diagnoses involve a co-occurring disorder.
And while anxiety generally precedes a depressive episode, a depressive episode can be the catalyst for anxiety — people who are depressed often have trouble sleeping, are restless and irritable, and have difficulty concentrating.
Both depression and anxiety are chronic conditions, and treatment can take time. It’s important to remember that many cases of anxiety and depression can be treated and that, with the right medicines, most people get better.
Depression and anxiety symptoms may be alleviated by encouraging the sufferer to socialize, seek help from others, and not fear failure. There is no one size fits all solution to mental health problems, and that’s okay. It’s scary but true; depression and anxiety are brain disorders, don’t make it worse by thinking food is at fault. Eat right, exercise right, sleep right. Being active will improve your mental health more than anti-anxiety pills. If you notice some of the psychological factors in this blog and find yourself getting down or anxious more often, make a change and try to put yourself in a better mood overall.
Read our series of articles about mental illness