13 Anxiety and depression

Anxiety

This is a natural reaction to the threat of danger, which has a survival function, warning us about dangerous situations. The symptoms of anxiety encompass a broad spectrum of feelings – everything from uneasiness and worry to fear and panic.

In our culture, our “experienced dangers” are more often “inner dangers”, that is, more about the demands we place on ourselves and our expectations about how to accomplish them. It is usually about the fear of losing control or feeling panic – for example in queues, busses or meeting other people.

Anxiety and anxiety attacks can be a part of several mental illnesses, such as depression, but can also be a sign of our increasingly demanding everyday lives.

Depression

Feeling sad and down at times is natural. This is not the same as being depressed, however. When someone is depressed, the basic feelings and experience of the world are changed completely. This condition involves suffering for a prolonged period and can produce several different symptoms.

Symptoms can include loss of desire and interest, tiredness and lack of energy, reduced self-confidence, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, sleep disorders, and decreased or increased appetite.

Treatment of anxiety and depression is on an individual and cognitive basis, that is, we look at the connection between thoughts, feelings and behaviour. Negative, irrational thoughts are identified and processed. At times these conditions also require medication.

Registered psychotherapist Sarah Andersson
Dr Karin Engquist