Anxiety and depression – widespread in society

Symbolic image depression

Anxiety disorders and depression are a common phenomenon. (Image: Kittiphan / Adobe Stock)

Depression and anxiety disorders are an issue that affects many people in society. Both children and adults can be affected. According to studies, the problem has increased in recent decades. Where do the fears come from and what solutions are there?

More and more people are affected

Fears and depressions are present in all social groups. From schoolchildren to managers, there are hardly any people who are safe from being confronted with such problems throughout their lives.

Anxiety and depression in children

Depression and anxiety disorders already play a role in childhood. The DAK Children and Youth Report of 2019, which analyzes data from 2016 and 2017, clearly shows the problems. So suffer two percent of schoolchildren suffer from anxiety disorders, just as many of depression. An even larger number of children show various types of psychological problems.

Between the years of analysis, there was a 5 percent increase in depression. These are alarming numbers. In addition, the study shows only a small section of the overall picture. The numbers could be even higher in reality, since not every child is treated with mental health problems.

Anxiety and depression in adults

In the psycho report of the box office of the same year it becomes clear that the problem also plays a role in adult people. So, according to the study, the number of sick leave due to mental health problems tripled since 1997. The most common reason for this is depression.

Part of the reason for the increase in numbers could be the taboo of such ailments. The consequence: more people dare to deal with them openly and, if they find themselves unable to work due to a depression, they can be given sick leave.


The reasons for anxiety disorders can be different. Israeli researchers believe that the problems can arise from the over-generalization of emotional experiences.

Back in 2011, Spanish scientists discovered that panic attacks and other anxiety disorders can be genetic. According to this theory, the trigger is a doubling on chromosome 15. This occurs disproportionately often in people with anxiety disorders.

Medicines as a solution

Anxiety and depression are sometimes treated with medication. To a certain extent, these can provide relief. Some remedies are available on prescription, others are available without a prescription.

Various preparations

There are a number of different preparations that can be used differently. Anti-anxiety medications (medical term: anxiolytics) include antidepressants, beta-blockers or neuroleptics. These preparations require a prescription.

Simple herbal remedies are also used. These include, for example, valerian, St. John’s wort or passion flower. Such drugs do not require a prescription and have a lighter and less effective effect.

Particularly known: antidepressants

Antidepressants are particularly well-known as medicinal help for anxiety disorders and depression. Opipramol, for example, is a preparation that is often prescribed and individual effects and properties, which is mainly in relieving anxiety. The drug is mostly used to accompany therapy.

Opipramol belongs to the group of tricyclic antidepressants. In addition to this form, there are also tetracyclic and SSRI antidepressants. Each of these drug families works differently. Tetracyclic preparations, for example, aim to increase the levels of substances such as norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine.

Antidepressants are medications that take some time to work. Many patients first have to try several preparations until they have found the right one. It is important that right time for a change to find if the antidepressant does not have the desired effect. This is the only way to achieve lasting success.

Help through therapy

Psychotherapy can also help with anxiety disorders and depression. There are various options and approaches. In the case of an anxiety disorder, for example, behavioral therapy is primarily used.

Other procedures such as deep psychological or systemic psychotherapy are also used, including for depression. Alternative methods such as treatment with alternating current play an increasing role. Depending on the individual case, contact persons for therapy can be both psychologists and psychiatrists.

On the one hand, regular discussions are important as part of the therapy, and the patients also learn various relaxation techniques. In some cases, the therapy is combined with medication as suggested in the previous section.

In addition to the form of therapy, it is essential for the patient to find the right psychotherapist. This can take a few weeks or even months due to individual circumstances and longer waiting times for a therapy place. Several contact persons may have to be consulted first until the appropriate therapist is found.

Self-help as a solution?

In addition to medication and therapies, there are a number of ways for patients to address the problem themselves. If no relief can be achieved in this way, it is recommended to seek professional support.

One of the options for self-help is a healthy lifestyle. Nutrition, as well as sufficient sleep and regular daily routines can play key roles in this. But regular exercise and physical fitness are also relevant.

Exercise can relieve depression to a comparatively small extent. In addition, reducing stress in everyday life, for example through improved time management, can offer support. Last but not least, dealing with problems and dealing with your own emotions play a role.


Depression and anxiety have increased in recent decades and are treated in different ways. In particular, various medications and therapeutic approaches are used. The problem is becoming increasingly taboo and is becoming more relevant in social discourse.


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