For many of us some form of anxiety and/or depression is a part of life, a part a new UK study seeks to understand better. Led by Professor Peter Kinderman the research group reveals that, while there is no single cause, there are 5 major triggers of anxiety and depression:
- A traumatic life event
- A family history of mental illness
- Income and education levels
- The way we think about and deal with stressful events (this trigger reminds me of a quote by Chris Pine,”The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don’t have control over your situation. But you have a choice about how you view it”)
The team also identified three thinking and behavioural styles which can increase the chances of a person experiencing anxiety and depression:
- Rumination: when depressing thoughts roll around-and-around in the mind.
- Lack of adaptive coping: examples include failing to seek support from others, eating poorly, not exercising and failing to anticipate stressful episodes.
- Self-blame: this is a very toxic type of mental habit. Unsurprisingly, its opposite, self-acceptance, is a key happy habit.
While there is no quick fix for anxiety and depression understanding the underlying causes is a good start to finding the path to healing.