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Understanding depression and anxiety
Understanding depression and anxiety

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Understanding depression and anxiety


You will notice that stress forms the backbone of this course. This is no accident, as the role of stress has attracted much attention in the last few decades, and it is now recognised as a powerful factor in the cause of emotional disorders. We start by considering what is meant by the term ‘stress’, how it is perceived, and the evidence that it is a risk factor for the development of emotional disorders. We then move on to look at the biology of stress, in particular how it affects the brain.

The theme of effects on the brain is continued with a consideration of what has been learnt about the brain mechanisms underlying depression from the workings of antidepressants.

Finally, we consider the interaction between genes and the environment, and how this might influence the development of emotional disorders.

The related OpenLearn course Emotions and emotional disorders [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] introduces you to the study of emotions and emotional disorders in the context of our evolutionary heritage, and goes on to consider how we might recognise emotional disorders, together with some of the problems associated with diagnosis and classification.

This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course SDK228 The science of the mind: investigating mental health.