Are Anxiety and Depression the Same Disorder?

  • Steven Carey (Psychology Department, National College of Ireland)


The issue of co-morbidity in Anxiety and Depression as disorders leads to questions about the integrity of their present taxonomies in mental health diagnostics. At face value the two appear to have discrete differences, yet nonetheless demonstrate a high co-morbidity rate and shared symptoms implying pathological similarities rather than that of chance. Reviewing evidence from behavioural, neural, and biological sources that elaborate on the aspects of these two constructs, helps to illustrate the nature of these apparent differences and similarities. Integrating evidence from the anxiety and depression literature with the pathological process best illustrated by the burnout theory, alongside with support from the neurobiology of anxiety and stress, presents a proposition of a basic and natural anxiety pathology that when excessive, may result in the symptoms psychology has come to know as representative of anxiety and depressive disorders.

Keywords: Anxiety, Neuroimaging, Stress

How to Cite:

Carey, S., (2015) “Are Anxiety and Depression the Same Disorder?”, Studies in Arts and Humanities 1(1), 10-22. doi:

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Published on
04 Jun 2015
Peer Reviewed