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Walsha Psychosociaal 250

Psychological problems have to do with your feelings and thoughts.

Social problems have to do with other people or agencies.

Psychosocial problems are a combination of the two.

Well-known issue disorders include mood disorders such as depression and
bipolar mood disorder, burnout and anxiety.

We distinguish between exogenous and endogenous depression. These refer to the genesis. In the exogenous form, depression is a result of a (negative) life event. In the endogenous form, it is a disruption of the biochemical balance in our brain.

The core symptoms of depression are a gloomy mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in (almost) all activities. These symptoms manifest almost daily, throughout most of the day. Symptoms last at least 2 weeks, and other symptoms may develop in addition to the core symptoms:

  • Unintentional weight gain or weight loss;
  • Almost daily insomnia or drowsiness;
  • Pronounced restlessness or inhibition;
  • Daily fatigue or loss of energy;
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt;
  • Daily decreased ability to concentrate or indecision;
  • Recurring thoughts of death.

A total of 5 symptoms must be present for a diagnosis of depression. These symptoms seriously interfere with daily functioning and cannot be explained by any other physical condition or substance abuse.

You may recognize certain feelings, but they may be transient. We then speak of depressive symptoms. Almost everyone suffers from it at one time or another, such as after the death of a loved one.

Only when the above criteria are met do we speak of depression.

There is a link between hereditary factors and personality traits, and the onset of depression, with psychosocial stress often the triggering factor.

We refer to major depression when it manifests in the severe form. Dysthymic depression when it occurs chronically but the symptoms are moderate to mildly severe. One specific form is postpartum depression.

Bipolar disorder is also called manic-depressive disorder. It is a psychiatric disorder in which the mood alternates between severe depressive and (hypo)manic (exaggerated sense of energy, risk-taking behavior) periods. It is a condition responsible for a great deal of psychological distress. At least half of people with bipolar disorder attempt suicide. Therefore, it is very important to recognize and treat the disease, also to prevent relapse.

The condition has two forms:

  • Type 1 disorder is characterized by manic, depressive and mixed periods.
  • Type 2 disorder is characterized by hypomanic and depressive episodes.

Usually, depressive episodes prevail. However, it is important to distinguish between the disease “depression” and manic-depressive disorder because the treatment is different.

Burnout is not a disease but a syndrome. It is characterized by both physical, psychological and social symptoms associated with reduced self-esteem at work. Considering it is not called a disease, the impact is very significant.

The difference with depression is that burnout has some similar characteristics to depression, but burnout is the result of long-term overwork.
The main difference is that burnout is primarily about a lack of energy. You feel unable to do anything else and especially if it is work related. However, you can still enjoy things outside the work sphere. Depression is a mood disorder: nothing is positive or worthwhile anymore, nothing can pique your interest.

Depression Burnout

You feel emotionally drained You feel emotionally drained.
You are irritable. You are irritable.
You are not interested in anything You are still interested in things outside of work
you don’t enjoy anything anymore. .
You have very low self-esteem. Your self-confidence has taken a dent.
You suffer from doom and gloom. You do still think realistically when it’s not about your work.
You don’t have energy for anything. Your energy is at a low ebb but is higher than in depression.

This manifests itself in terms of your psychological well-being:

  • You are no longer motivated at work.
  • You feel frustrated.
  • Your self-confidence languishes.
  • You feel listless.
  • You have concentration problems.
  • You feel anxious.

This manifests itself in terms of your behavior:

  • You are indifferent.
  • You isolate yourself.
  • You become cynical.
  • You react aggressively.
  • You work less efficiently and make more mistakes.
  • You start smoking, drinking alcohol or taking drugs more.

Anxiety disorders are common conditions.
Anxiety disorders are distinguished into the following disorders:

Selective mutism

When you have selective mutism you speak – more easily but not always – only to people who are very close to you. With selective mutism, you are consistently unable to speak in social situations where it is expected, such as at school, while you do speak in a very safe environment with people close to you. The consequences of not being able to speak are significant for school performance, in education or at work. It may also otherwise interfere with normal social communication.

Separation anxiety disorder

With separation anxiety disorder, you fear being separated from attachment persons. This to an extent that does not suit your stage of development. You are constantly afraid that something bad will happen to your attachments, you are fearful of events that could lead to the loss or separation of attachments, and because of this you display reluctance to leave attachments. You often suffer from nightmares and physical stress symptoms.
Symptoms often develop during childhood although they may continue to be expressed throughout adult life.

Specific phobia

In the case of a specific phobia, you experience extreme fear of one particular situation, animal or thing or avoidance of it. Examples include: fear of heights, fear of flying, fear of spiders or the dentist, claustrophobia. This disorder does not involve specific cognitions. Fear and anxiety, or avoidance, are almost always evoked directly by the phobic situation, to an extent that is long-lasting and disproportionate compared to the actual risk.

Social anxiety disorder

When you have a social anxiety disorder, you often come across as very shy. You feel insecure especially in (unfamiliar) company and often blush or tremble. You fear any kind of criticism which makes you overly alert for what will happen in company. In addition, you experience the feeling of not doing well, the fear of being humiliated or rejected or giving offence. The fear of appearing strange and off dominates your behavior. Making contacts is perceived as a huge problem.
Someone with social anxiety disorder fears or avoids social interactions and situations in which there is a chance that others will view them critically. The situations in which social phobia occurs are variable. Examples include: being afraid to talk on the phone, eat in a restaurant, speak in public or meet someone.

Panic disorder

With panic disorder, you experience regular panic attacks where you are overcome completely unexpectedly by extreme fear or an intense feeling of unease, which peaks within minutes and is accompanied by physical and/or cognitive symptoms. In addition, you persistently worry or worry about having another panic attack or change your behavior because of the panic attacks. During a panic attack, the feeling of fainting, dying or going crazy prevails, in addition to the feeling of losing control of oneself. A panic attack does not require an immediate trigger.


Agoraphobia is also called fear of the street or agoraphobia. This involves fear of at least two of the following situations: traveling on public transportation, being in open spaces, being in enclosed areas, being in a crowd or standing in line, or being outdoors without company in other situations. The fear of these situations arises because of the thought of not being able to get away properly and not getting help if something were to happen. When you have street fear you often avoid the above situations or only move in the company of someone else because on your own you feel terribly afraid and defenseless and can be overcome by panic. Some people with agoraphobia do not dare to stay home alone.

Generalized-Anxiety Disorder

When you suffer from generalized-anxiety disorder, you have prolonged severe anxiety about things that are part of everyday life. You experience difficulty controlling things like money, health and performing at school or work when there is no reason to do so. You fret, experience anxious premonitions, you are often gloomy and overprotective. In addition, you experience physical symptoms such as restlessness or feeling tense or turned on; difficulty concentrating or not being able to get onto something; irritability; getting tired quickly; disturbed sleep and muscle tension.