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Anxiety depressive syndrome

Anxiety depressive syndrome


The  anxious depressive syndrome  does not achieve a diagnostic framework in the DSM V, it ‘in ICD-10, but both health benchmarks see a close correlation between depression and anxiety .

The  depressive anxiety syndrome , in ICD-10, can be configured in mixed depressive disorder anxious . When it comes to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V), depressive anxiety syndrome can occur among depressive disorders with the presence of anxiety, in particular, in persistent depressive disorder with anxious characteristics.

As we have seen, the term ” depressive anxiety syndrome ” is very generic, however, it encompasses the reality that many people live: a depressed mood with marked anxious traits. Let’s see all the details.

Contents hide 1 Depressive anxiety syndrome 1.1 Beck’s cognitive model and depressive anxiety syndrome 1.2 Anxiety and depressogenic patterns are learned in childhood 1.3 Anxiety and depression symptoms 2 How to treat depressive anxiety syndrome 3 Mixed anxiety depressive disorder

Anxiety depressive syndrome

The correlation between  anxiety and depression  is very strong, so much so that the same personality trait would be the basis of both disorders. Those suffering from depressive anxiety syndrome may share a personality trait called “neuroticism”.

Robert R. McCrae and Paul T. Costa coined the theory of the five personality traits or “Big Five theory”, the classification of the main personality traits. Among the multitude of models focused on a nomothetic approach to the study of personality, that of Costa and McCrae is among the most shared and tested, both theoretically and empirically.

Among these traits is ” emotional stability ” as opposed to the concept of ” neuroticism “. Those who have good mental health have high  emotional stability  which is characterized by:

  • Stable mood
  • Absence of depression
  • Anxiety control
  • Absence of impulsivity
  • Irritation control

Neuroticism is explained as the  tendency  to react to adverse events with pessimism, stress, anxiety, anger, fear and, of course, emotional instability. From a cognitive point of view, the tendency to give a negative interpretation only increases the frequency and intensity of the threat felt (objective or subjective it may be). This tendency exposes us to multiple cognitive errors.

Those suffering from  depressive anxiety syndrome  will give priority to processing negative information over processing neutral and positive information. In other words, if the person with  depressive anxiety syndrome  is having a wonderful day, there may be a “single factor” that can  ruin everything … Here the subject thinks “I’m not fine with one!”. No matter how relevant that factor may be, it will undoubtedly be  decisive for the subject with a high rate of neuroticism ; on the contrary, for a subject with high “emotional stability”, that “factor” will result in a detail that can fade and get lost in the background of a clear day.

Beck’s cognitive model and anxious depressive syndrome

Beck’s cognitive theory * holds that we  are continuously engaged in the construction of the meaning of events . In those who suffer from  depressive anxiety syndrome something goes wrong just as it tries to give meaning to their own experiences!

As we grow we learn thought patterns that are automatic, involuntary, by images, poorly structured…. those with  reactive depressive anxiety syndrome  are led to prioritize issues such as:

  • Failure
  • Self-criticism
  • Failure
  • Inability
  • Not amiability
  • Lost
  • Unworthiness
  • Defeat

Patients with  depressive anxiety syndrome  perform continuous distorted assessments of events. Warning! This does not mean that they “do not live in reality”, it means that they have learned  disabling automatic thought patterns  .

The  patterns are relatively stable internal structures , they are made of “ideas, stimuli, experiences, memories …”, a set of constructs used to give meaning to new information, to new experiences .

* Aaron Beck, American psychiatrist and psychologist considered the founder of classic approaches in cognitive psychotherapy.

Anxiety and depressogenic patterns are learned in childhood

Patterns are learned in childhood. Those who have had a difficult childhood with experiences of abandonment, abuse, emotional neglect , refusal care, mistreatment … or those who, in a more or less pronounced way, grew up in a  threatening environment , will have built up  schemes  to interpret a threatening reality.

If, during growth and with adult life, the subject manages to build a peaceful dimension,  these patterns can be deactivated …. however,  stressful events  can  reactivate  the patterns and give life to a real  anxious depressive syndrome  or, more specifically, they can trigger a  depressive disorder  and / or an anxiety disorder .

In practice there is a  chain reaction  that guides the attribution of meaning to events . In  depression, everything begins to be assessed as loss , as proof of one’s own  neglect , as a sign of one’s own inability or  helplessness , any signal underlines  the unavailability of others and loneliness

In anxietyeverything begins to be assessed as a threat , a threat of loss of affection, of one’s own value, of one’s autonomy… Unfortunately, getting out of the  reactive depressive anxious syndrome  is not at all simple.

Symptoms of anxiety and depression

Schemes guide cognitive processes in a confirmatory sense. In the domain of  depressive symptoms  we will have that:

  • The sense of worthlessness translates into  fatigue, heavy limbs, muscle stiffness .
  • The decrease in mood causes the individual to become  hypercritical  and raise their standards by facilitating dissatisfaction with the results obtained  which never seem to be  enough .
  • The sense of low self value translates into passivityanhedonia , poor reaction to stimuli.

In the domain of  anxious symptoms we will have that :

  • The sense of low self-worth translates into the will to  control anything , in the  fear of the unexpected .
  • The  rumination  may be fomenting  anxiety depression , steadily returning to sad experiences, shameful or demeaning, as well as of  anxiety-producing thoughts .
  • The sense of uselessness translates into  rigidity  and a strong self-criticism, even in this context one is hyper-critical with oneself.

How to cure depressive anxiety syndrome

Patients with  depressive anxiety syndrome  and, in particular,  depressed patients , tend to  negatively evaluate  their symptoms by mulling over their causes, implications and consequences (Nolen-Hoeksema, 1991). In practice, patients with  depressive anxiety syndrome  suffer and condemn themselves for their suffering! 

In depressed patients, training to accept their symptoms or to distract themselves from rumination (depressive feelings, feelings and thoughts) reduces the intensity and duration of symptoms  and the negative attitude  towards negative experiences (Singer and Dobson, 2006). 

Taking note that the  depressive anxiety syndrome  does not represent a diagnostic picture in itself, it is worth remembering that any psychic discomfort to be diagnosed requires the evaluation of a psychologist / psychotherapist. 

The decision to start a psychotherapeutic path is difficult to mature. While you reflect on this possibility you can start taking care of your inner dialogue, identify the most frequent cognitive errors and above all shed light on the patterns that lead you to make certain assessments  on reality.

Mixed anxiety depressive disorder

We talked about the depressive anxiety syndrome  generally described as a state characterized by  depressed mood and anxious symptoms . An article on anxiety depression is available for further information on  mixed anxiety depressive disorder  .