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Exploring the relationship between anxiety and depression
Exploring the relationship between anxiety and depression

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Exploring the relationship between anxiety and depression


If you are about to embark on this course, please be aware that this is the third and final part in a three-part series covering anxiety and depression. We would encourage you to start with Exploring anxiety [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] and then move on to Exploring depression before starting this free course.

In this final part we explore the relationship between anxiety and depression. The course will help you to consider some key issues around diagnosis, causes and interventions for anxiety and depression, and to think critically about some of the more pressing contemporary questions and controversies. For example:

  • Do anxiety and depression lie along a ‘continuum’ of human emotions?

  • Do culture and societal views matter?

  • Are anxiety and depression simply caused by the stresses and strains of daily living and by life’s events and traumas, and not by genes?

  • How much of mental illness can the biology of the brain explain?

  • Are anxiety and depression more common in women or in men?

  • Can or should anxiety and depression be ‘cured’?

  • Could psychedelics be used to treat anxiety and depression?

This OpenLearn course has been developed from the Open University course S826 Introduction to mental health science (Stage 1 in the Masters in Mental Health Science), and is suitable preparatory reading if you are considering moving on to postgraduate study in this area. A number of related free courses are also available on OpenLearn. They are recommended to complement your studies. They can serve as background reading, introduce you to underlying concepts, and provide a basis that will help to support and broaden your knowledge and understanding of topics further. You can find these in the Further Reading section.

Please note that we have not provided a glossary of terms on this course. However, you may find it helpful to keep one as you study. The course may contain some specialist vocabulary, terms or ideas with which you are unfamiliar. Typically, this may involve a medical condition, a complex technical term or a specific procedure or assessment. At this more advanced level of study, we expect you to use your initiative and find the missing information for yourself, perhaps using medical dictionaries or encyclopaedias, or by conducting an online search using a search engine. Searching for information is also an overt feature of study at Masters level, and will help you to better prepare for postgraduate study.