A few weeks back I wrote a post that related to a colloquial use of the word depression. Naturally in reading I've taken this a bit further and found some new insights.
Heidegger goes into depth on this topic but classifies roughly the same idea as anxiety which is quite fitting. Rather than my analogies, he discusses it as the point when a person is no longer considering themselves as a part of the world. Going further, in what sounds like it is related to suicide, he talks about the moment when a person contemplates the notion of themselves not being in the world, or alive.
Being other to the world, distanced and not belonging, seeing the world abstractly with distance from yourself, is gaining on the further reaches of what I had referred to as depression. While a depressive state begins with disconnection and discontent related to numerous circumstances, it is at the point of anxiety that the disconnect becomes critical.
Anxiety is not purely philosophical, or even a notion grounded in something simple though. The feeling of anxiety can be quite circumstantial and have a range of factors associated. Obvious circumstances we can easily analyse, which is how we would respond to What's wrong? for example. Here we pull apart known issues and see our problems as being related entirely to them with various degrees of criticality.
We can go further into what makes somebody anxious however. For instance, the after effects of addiction, the unknown causes of mood shifts we cannot put down explainable events, or circumstances that don’t seem relevant. At a really simple level, not eating 3 meals a day, not exercising, not sleeping properly, or a change in routine that seemed insignificant, can lead to anxiety.
On their own these things seem like physical issues primarily, but our emotional state and thinking are tied together with the way we treat our physical health. The difference between the health we gain from diet, sleep, exercise and drug use are only different to the health we associate with good relationships, feelings of safety and comfort, or feelings of belonging to a community, in how we have divided them. But the division is an arbitrary one. It is useful to divide these things in terms of practicing medicine perhaps (having a surgeon in a different role to a psychologist), but to the individual it doesn't make sense to work solely on the mind and neglect the body or vice-versa. These are all things that make up a person, not divisible parts.
This can be often be taken to sound like something that could come from the new-age movement, the idea of oneself, but it is far more real than anything associated with religion or spirituality.
To grab an analogy from another field; our experience of occupations is often set by existing structures. There are titles and roles, and there are the related requirements. The lines are not so clear though, as a teacher becomes a counsellor in circumstances, or a designer double checks copy is correct, or as a marketing officer pre-empts accountings needs. The best way around this is through the fields of design-thinking at its most critical points, but more aggressively through the arts. The distinctions in arts between science, philosophy and other areas are blurred more easily than in other areas. Like entrepreneurialism, this can be connected to having to be a multitasker, and having to work in numerous areas. But truthfully, it is because the areas of knowledge needed for any given art practice that is not complete plagiarism or imitation relies on information from a range of fields, unlike prescriptive occupations. We can turn humanities and other areas into industrial processes because of convenience. But not art.
We equally cannot divide mental and physical wellbeing as if they are not related.
Being anxious then, it could be important not to only look at the events of your life that seem obvious, but the other daily changes you have made. You may have been through a loss, but are you eating and exercising properly? And of course if you are always anxious, before you can deal with the issues that are bothering you, it may be important to get into some decent healthy habits first.