Harrowing moments in life leading cause of anxiety and depression

ANI| Updated: Oct 17, 2013, 19:40 PM IST

Washington: A new study has found that a person is more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression if he or she has dealt with some traumatic life events.

But, how a person deals with such stressful events can determine the level of stress they feel, the study has claimed.

For the study, which was conducted at the University of Liverpool, psychologists analysed the responses of over 32,000 participants, aged 18 - 85 years, who completed the BBC's 'Stress Test', an online survey to explore the causes and consequences of stress.

The ' Stress Test ' asked participants a range of questions about their family history of mental health problems, life events, income and education levels, relationship status and social circumstances.

It also asked participants about how they responded to stressful situations, for example, did they talk to friends about their problems, did they turn to alcohol to reduce stress or did they blame themselves.

The study found that traumatic life events were the single biggest determinant of anxiety and depression followed by a family history of mental illness and income and education levels.

Relationship status and social factors made smaller, but still significant, contributions to stress.

However, the results revealed that a person's thinking style was as much a factor in the level of anxiety and depression a person experienced.