The connection between worrying and depression

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Bad emotions happen to together

Studies have shown that anxiety and depression usually happen together. And even without any studies i am pretty sure you noticed that when a person gets depressed an array of negative emotions also accompanies him.

But what is the connection between worrying and depression?
Why do people worry often when they get depressed?

In order to know the connection between both worrying and depression you first need to get a basic idea about both. In my previous article Why do people get depressed i explained how depression is a state of helplessness that happen as a person loses hope in getting something that really matters.

Worrying on the other hand is a warning message sent by your mind to tell you that you won't be able to tolerate a certain negative scenario in case it happened.

By sending you such a message your mind wants you to either prevent this case from happening or get prepared to face it.

So what's the connection between worrying and depression

In my previous article Thinking strategies that lead to worrying i said that living on the defensive side of life is one of the factors that lead to worrying.

Forward thinking is the habit of planning for future goals and working on achieving more as time passes. Backward thinking on the other hand ,or attachment to the past, can force a person to live his life defending what he has instead of thinking about achieving more.

In a soccer match the team that plays defensively worries often about losing simply because winning can hardly happen while the whole team is focusing on not losing.

Now when you live your life defending what you have instead of looking for more you will always worry about losing what you are trying to defend. See also How to stop worrying immediately

So what's the connection between depression and backward thinking?
Since depression is a state of loss of hope a typical depressed person won't have any hope for the future. That person will only think about the past, get more attached to it and in turn focus on defending what he posses because he sees no hope in the future.

And just as i explained above this thinking strategy promotes constant worrying. See The best treatment option for depression.

Depression and negativity

It is known that depression leads to increased negative thoughts. Studies have shown that people who worry often are the one who are more likely to spot the negative possibilities in everyday situations. See also Where do automatic negative thoughts come from

Depression doesn't only force a person to do this but it combines those negative thoughts with the state of loss of hope which intensifies those emotions even more. See 5 wrong practices that lead to depression

The loss of hope forces the depressed person to believe that more bad things might happen and as a result the person might start to worry more often.

Depression, worrying and vulnerability

Worrying happens when a person feels vulnerable. After all if a person never felt vulnerable then he would have nothing to fear or worry about.

Now because depression makes a person feel helpless, incapable and weak it also makes him feel vulnerable. As a person senses that he became more vulnerable to new problems his mind might automatically shift to worrying to help him avoid any possible new problems. See also Worrying results from doubts about your problem solving skills

In other words if you can't take it anymore then you will worry about bad possibilities because of your perceived vulnerability.

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