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Adaptive Affect: The Nature of Anxiety and Depression

Authors Morris DW

Received 10 September 2019

Accepted for publication 22 November 2019

Published 2 December 2019 Volume 2019:15 Pages 3323—3326

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S230491

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Cristina Weinberg

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder


David W Morris

Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA

Correspondence: David W Morris
Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd., NE5.106, Dallas, TX 75390-9127, USA
Tel +1214-648-7085
Fax +1214-645-2786
Email DavidW.Morris@UTSouthwestern.edu

Abstract: An approach viewing anxiety and depression as extensions of normal adaptive biologic drives is discussed. Anxiety is viewed as the result of an underlying biological drive to preserve and maintain our wellbeing. At the extremes, if unresolved, this drive can be maladaptive, particularly if activated over prolonged periods of time. This paper proposes that depression is the result of a biological drive that mediates the effects of maladaptive levels of anxiety. These two processes are thought to be acting simultaneously. When operating in the normal range, these drives are helpful; in the extremes, they are associated with impairment. Over time, if unresolved, symptoms of anxiety will begin to become associated with increasing levels of depression.

Keywords: depression, anxiety, adaptive affect, stress

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