People who suffer from certain phobias or fears, for example from spiders or mice, are twice as likely to develop depression. They are also three times more likely to have other concerns.
This is the conclusion reached by the Trimbos Institute on the basis of research with Amsterdam UMC. It is therefore not unimportant, according to the researchers, to address such concerns, which in themselves appear to be controllable early on.
For example, it could also be something like a fear of heights. 6,646 people participated in the study. Six years after the study began, all 552 participants who already had or had a phobia were more likely to have another anxiety disorder or major depressive disorder than those without a phobia. This relates to new disorders that cannot be traced back to something else, according to Trimbos, such as sexual abuse or unemployment.
“If people with mental disorders — seemingly harmless and easily treatable — are detected and treated early, more serious mental disorders can potentially be prevented,” says researcher Guido Weitzer at Trimbus.
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