Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Comparing Depression, Anxiety and Anger

Dennis Greenberger and Christine Padesky give a very helpful comparison of how to understand Depression, Anxiety and Anger. Out of the five areas mentioned above, they only look at four of the areas (typical thoughts, physical reactions, behaviours, and moods and do not mention the situations) to describe these problems. They describe each of them as ‘profiles’, which means they want to describe their particular characteristics.


Thoughts Physical Reactions

No hope for the future Tiredness, loss of energy

Others have disappointed me Loss of appetite

Life won’t change Trouble concentrating

I am a failure / worthless Irritable mood

Behaviours Moods

Withdraw sad

Low activity hopeless

Change in sleep pattern self-critical

Suicide attempts guilty


Thoughts Physical Reactions

Overestimation of danger Sweaty palms

Underestimation of your ability Muscle tension

to cope. Racing Heart

Underestimation of help available Flushed cheeks

Worries and catastrophic thoughts Light-headedness

Behaviours Moods

Avoiding situations where anxiety Nervous

might occur Irritable

Leaving situations when anxiety Anxious

begins to occur Panicky

Trying to do things perfectly or

trying to control events to prevent danger


Thoughts Physical Reactions

Others are threatening or hurtful Tight muscles

Rules have been violated Increased blood pressure

Others are treating me unfairly Increase heart rate

“It’s not fair” Tension

Behaviours Moods

Defend/Resist Irritable

Attack/Argue Angry

Withdraw (to punish or protect) Enraged

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