Depressed mood is often accompanied by feelings of anxiety and vice versa
Having taken a closer look at various facets of anxiety as an expression of emotional distress in the previous series of articles, we will now turn to the topic of depressed mood as another cause of emotional distress.
Depressivity and anxiety are closely intertwined and usually difficult to separate from each other, as they are often mutually dependent.
Careful distinction must be made between a low mood, a transient depressed mood, and a long-lasting depression.
A typical low mood is the "winter blues": the days become shorter, the outside temperature drops and with it the mood of many people - for them, a time begins that is characterized by depressed mood and constant tiredness.3 But here, too, the transitions are fluid, and a winter blues can also become a winter depression.
Depressive moods go beyond mild mood lows or mood swings.2
Mild depressive moods usually pass after a few weeks.
The causes can be varied. Whether an event becomes the cause of a depressive mood depends on the individual personality and also on the circumstances prevailing at the time: Unresolved differences of opinion, separation, loss of a job, even the death of a beloved pet can plunge people into a low mood. For most crises of this kind, positive feelings soon reassert themselves. Even periods of grief after the death of a loved one weaken after a few months, and inner life forces regain the upper hand.1
A normal grief reaction differs from depression in, among other things, an "oscillatory capacity," i.e., the affected person can respond briefly with joy to positive events despite his or her grief.3
In a depressive illness, dejection, sadness and inner emptiness are more pronounced and last much longer. Those affected are often no longer able to feel joy, they cannot be brought to other thoughts even for a short time, and they retreat into their shell. Feelings of worthlessness, helplessness and hopelessness give rise to self-doubt, anxiety and even suicidal thoughts.1
Depressed, listless, tired, and sad - these are typical feelings for a depression of the soul. Gloomy feelings are part of life, but they can also be a sign of depression or anxiety.1