Today, my psychopathology class will explore the problem of depression. Last week we looked at anxiety and next week, we take a shot at understanding the roots of anger. Here’s my thought for today: these three emotional states are not different animals but three manifestations of the same problem.
There is some psychological research and writing suggesting that anxiety and depression either highly overlap or are two ends of the continuum. Further, we understand that the same SSRI antidepressants seem to alleviate both anxiety and depressive symptoms. I would like to suggest that we consider that they do exist on a continuum and anger as the center point.
Consider these simple definitions for our Anxiety–Anger–Depression continuum:
Anxiety: Manifestations of mood revealing a deep sense that something is not right in the world and hope in activating in someway to forestall the danger.
Depression: Manifestations of mood revealing a deep sense that something is not right in the world and hopeless to forestall the danger.
Anger: Manifestations of mood revealing a deep sense that something is not right in the world and frustrated that others aren’t doing something to forestall the danger.
How might this change our approach to these problems? Not sure it would. However, all of us have some experience with at least one of these three manifestations and so therefore we can better relate to those who experience one of the other two manifestations.