relationships longevity affected by depression and anxiety

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Depression and anxiety have been identified as extreme psychiatric conditions that have an impact on the duration of relationships. There is a need to grasp the nature of depression and anxiety in order to develop a better understanding of how depression and anxiety impact relationship durability. Depression is a serious and common mental condition that has a tremendous impact on how an individual feels, thinks, and does (Da Costa et al., 40). It is worth noting, though, that it is treatable. Depression causes a melancholic mood and a lack of interest in previously enjoyable hobbies. It is important to underscore that depression may invoke emotional and physical problems that affect individual ability to function with optimal productivity at home and workplace. Therefore, it’s important to note that psychological disorders like depression are more likely to change the social aspect of an individual hence, determining his or her ability to create, maintain and widen relationships.

On the other hand, anxiety is a broad term that refers to numerous disorders that create fear, apprehension, worrying and nervousness. Research has established that one of the standard causes of anxiety is depression. As such, it affects how we feel and behave. This can be reflected through observable behaviors. People tend to develop a state of fear before confronting tasks such as sitting examinations, conducting an interview or making presentations to a group of audience. It is considered a problem when it affects an individual’s ability to sleep or function. Anxiety disorder ranges from mild to severe complications. Some of the complications include Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder (PA), Phobia, Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) And Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD) Da Costa et al., 45)

As such, this paper seeks to investigate how depression and anxiety affect relationships. Depression causes anxiety. Therefore, there is need to determine the extent of damage that these disorders have on individual and group relationships.

Statement of the problem

Depression and anxiety are long-term emotional, psychological responses by individuals before or after specific experiences. It is difficult for a person to develop in a contemporary modern society to choose their experiences. What we experience illicit emotional responses that might be constructive or destructive. Specific events happen in life that we do not have absolute control over. For example, the death of loved ones, accidents, sitting tests, the performance of assigned duty, marriages and loss of jobs. Therefore, it is essential to investigate how these experiences affect relationships. Thus, this paper examines the answers to the research question: How do depression and anxiety affect relationship’s longevity?



Emotional and psychological responses to stress stimuli and the effects of depression and anxiety on relationships have been a pivotal point of focus for psychosocial researchers. Most scientists, biochemical researchers, neurological analysts and social counseling psychologists have researched this topic. However, most of the study done on the subject is not conclusive as some fail to distinguish between depression and anxiety. Their effects on relationships and proper medication for the victims.

Effect of depression on relationships

Depression affects how a person feels, think and act. Da Costa et al. identifies that depression is a significant problem in the workplace because it affects judgment, reasoning and social engagement (50). They further observe that inappropriate decision making and cooperation at workplaces reduces productivity level of the affected employees (52). This results in high absenteeism, low productivity and high employee turnover. Mennitto notes that high employee turnover in the organization is a social and managerial problem associated with many groups (n.pag). Employee turnover significantly refers to the loss of jobs which has been identified by Nordqvis, as a critical determinant on how individuals interact. He suggests that most people become introverts after losing their jobs (n.pag). He associates this trait to the social exclusion that is initiated by depression. Mennito argues that socially excluded individual tend to develop poor connections with people (n.pag). As such, Mennitto confirms that depression leads to social exclusion hence negatively affecting relationships.

Conversely, American Psychiatric Association postulates that depression may lead to loss of jobs, poor judgment, and low productivity but fails to find the connection between the loss of employment and social exclusivity. He notes that many people have lost their jobs, and after that, they became highly sociable, developed contacts and increased their social network. Therefore, American Psychiatric Association concludes that it is the chemoreceptors in the brain that triggers such reactions that may cause poor relationships and not depression. Da Costa et al. refers to evil cognitive schemes in an individual that is responsible for misery. If all people would develop positive cognitive systems, then depression would not be an issue. Hence, it would not have effects on relationships. American Psychiatric Association suggests that the dysfunctional schemes in a depressed person controlled by low awareness regarding himself, environment and the future. This creates negatively automated thoughts which is a crucial component of cognitive and relational vulnerability forming a depression. Da Costa et al. underscore that depression is generated by individual’s mental inhibition which affects his/her perception of reality and events which shows his/her emotions. Also, American Psychiatric Association concludes that depression lower self-esteem and self-confidence which is also common to stress and anxiety.

Depression symptoms and effects on relationships

The available literature points out that depression has various symptoms ranging from mild to severe symptoms. Mennitos’ analysis of patients in John Hopkins Hospital indicates that most patients display observable characteristics such as feeling sad, loss of interest in activities, loss of appetite, sleep insomnia, increased fatigue, increase in meaningless physical activities such pacing, inability to make decisions and evil thoughts such suicide or incest. However, Mennito noted that the symptoms could only be diagnosed after a fortnight. He further suggested that medical conditions such as brain tumor, thyroid and vitamin deficiency are associated with depression.

Additionally, Mennito emphasized that the loss of loved ones, jobs or breaking of relationships are a terrible situation for one to endure. As such, the feeling of grief, sadness are automatically developed for such circumstances. However, American Psychiatric Association argues that the perception of sorrow or pain is different from depression as they are developed for a short while. He explained that this is natural processes with natural medicine. In his view, depression leads to withdrawal from friends, events or activities. Although withdrawal may be for a moment, it adversely affects relationships. Research by American Psychiatric Association indicates that withdrawal is an immediate effect of depression which may end relationships, lives and even loss of jobs (n.pag). He concluded that depression affects relationships in several ways. First, it may lead to death through suicide, end employee engagement through inefficiency in decisions making and ultimately loss of a job. Secondly, it may lead to failure in examinations among students creating a frictional relationship among the students and their sponsors, end studies hence delinking an individual from peers. Thirdly, it may escalate domestic violence due to inability to provide for the family or irresponsibility and other medical conditions which reduces individuals ability to interact brain tumor or loss of memory Da Costa et al., 54)

However, research by Mennitto suggested various approaches to the treatment of depression to build relationships. These included medications such as antidepressants, psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy and self-initiated mechanisms such doing exercise on a regular basis (Mennito, n.pag).

Anxiety and relationships.

Nordqvis defines anxiety as complex emotional response created through stressing stimuli (n.pag). This is manifested when an individual fails to understand that environmental conditions generate outcome which are beyond personal ability or resources. Da Costa et al. argues that anxiety is both constructive and destructive as it may initiate performances that give positive result or failure. However, American Psychiatric Association notes that it may inhibit performance when an individual cannot select appropriate responses to alternating situations. Nordqvis identified various types of anxieties such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder (PA), Phobia, Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD) including their effects on relationships (n.pag).

Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Relationship: American Psychiatric Association defines this disorder as a chronic disorder described by excessive worry concerning uncertain life events, situations or objects. He indicated that individuals suffering from this type of disorder display specific features such as worry about family, work, and money but incapable of identifying the fear and establish control. He further indicates that this fear affects family relationships that may lead to divorce due to fear of losing a job, lack of love and violence in marriage.

Panic Disorder and Relationship: Da Costa et al. indicated that this type of anxiety is characterized by impulsive attacks of passionate terror and apprehension which creates confusion, fear, nausea or difficulty in breathing (55). He linked his research to the intense fear against the Muslim community in the United States after the 9-11 attack on the US World Trade Centre, the Pentagon and Stonycreek Township which created suspicion and mistrust among Americans and Muslims. He noted that several relationships were broken, both at work and family levels, withdrawal of children from schools with majority Muslim population to terrorist profiling of Muslim community (Mennito, n.pag).

Phobia and relationship: Phobia refers to the irrational fear of objects, situations or people. Anthropophobia is an extreme compulsive form of introversion or timidity. American Psychiatric Association indicated that individuals with this type of anxiety are less likely to create and maintain a relationship for a more extended period. For instance, he gave an example of women giving birth to children but neglects them immediately after birth due to fear. Also, some mother fear breastfeeding in public hence avoid public places or friends.

Moreover, Da Costa et al. suggest that social anxiety disorder is characterized by fear of being deleteriously adjudicated by others or public humiliation. This includes the fear of shame, intimacy or being loved (55). Da Costa et al. communicated that this fear makes normal life challenging to practice hence limiting relationships and interactions.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and relationship: This anxiety results from previous trauma, for example, military combat, hostage situation, rape or critical accident. American Psychiatric Association confirms that these individuals develop emotional and behavioral responses towards specific stimuli which may lead to flashbacks. It is characterized by withdrawals hence limiting social interactions and relationships. For example, severe accidents may make an individual to develop fear or dislike for drivers, pilots or captains, therefore, defining his interactions with them.


Research methods refer to the techniques of collecting data (Da Costa et al., 56). This research relied on a descriptive and associational study carried out by other scholars and interested groups to establish the correlation between depression and anxiety as well as the relationship. It reviewed the available literature on the research topic. The research also employed online survey on available literature to generate findings.


This research employed in-depth study of patients with the psychological and psychosocial disorder at John Hopkins Hospital (American Psychiatric Association, n.pag). It entails detailed analysis of behavioral responses and the interactions of the patient with people inside and outside the clinic. It involved observation of the subjects and target groups without actually knowing that they were under scrutiny. However, there were limitations experienced. First, it was difficult to arbitrarily identify patients with depression or anxiety disorders from those suffering from stress. Secondly, some patients were not open for discussions and violent to observation. As such, the research relied on the medical research done in the hospital and posted on their website which is more viable and authentic hence reasoning the research process.


The analysis of the available literature involving the effect of depression and anxiety on relationships presented the following results:

PTSD is the worst form of anxiety responsible for withdrawal and social exclusion which reduces the length of relationships.

Anxiety leads to loss of love among families, divorce and social insecurity hence shortening relationships.

Adults have a high level of positive psychological schemes hence less affected by anxiety leading to long-lasting relationships.

Depression is responsible for the loss of jobs, social exclusivity at the workplace, low productivity and low self-esteem hence shortening relationships.


Based on the above findings, Da Costa et al. suggested that positive cognitive schemes improve individual’s reception to anxiety and depression stimuli (47). Positive experiences prepare people to be strong. This help in the development of a healthy mind to handle undesirable events or experiences hence increasing the length of the relationship. However, cynical cognitive schemes strengthen anxiety and depression consequently affecting the relationships negatively.

Furthermore, individuals who have PTSD demonstrated a high level of withdrawal and social exclusion. According to American Psychiatric Association, high level of disengagement and social exclusivity among PTSD patients is driven by the desire to avoid stimuli that may invoke previous experiences through flashbacks. PTSD is associated with experiences such as childhood negligence, drugs and drug abuse, serious accident, violent past and military combat. Supplementary forms of anxiety such as Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD) are also responsible for the broken relationships. Da Costa argues that social anxiety disorders and phobia make people develop irrational fear towards people, objects or events (48). Therefore, such people are not able to sustain relationships over an extended period.

Nevertheless, American Psychiatric Association established depression shortened relationships. This paper has found out that depression creates a feeling of fear and procrastination. This is followed by slow decision making, irresponsibility, and absenteeism at workplaces. This reduces individual productivity leading to employee layoff. This shortens the intended long-term engagement between the employee and the employer. As such, long-term relationship is built on sharp mind and ability to handle challenging circumstances. A feeling of hope builds confidence to overcome disasters thereby making connections to last long.


This paper has established that depression and anxiety affect the length of relationships. However, positive attitudes towards people, events or situations build confidence that help in increasing the range of contact. The various forms of anxiety such as Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) And Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD) shorten relationships. Also, depression leads to social exclusivity which leads to withdrawal hence breaking a relationship, loss of jobs and divorce in families. As such, this paper has addressed the answers to the research question efficiently.

Works Cited

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM-5), Fifth edition. 2013.

Da Costa Vicente Rodrigues, Rosa Isabel, et al. “The Impact of Positive Psychological Capital on the Psychological Distress of Primary and Secondary Education Teachers.” Psique, Journal of Research Centre for Psychology of the Universidade Autonoma De Lisboa, vol. 12, Jan-Dec2017, pp. 40-56

Mennitto, D. “Research In Medical Psychology At The Johns Hopkins Hospital.” N.p., 2016. Web. 6 Nov. 2017.

Nordqvis, Christian. “PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).” Medical News Today. N.p., 2016. Web. 6 Nov. 2017.

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