Recovery from mood and anxiety disorders: The influence of positive mental health

Marijke Schotanus-Dijkstra* (Corresponding Author), Corey L.M. Keyes, Ron de Graaf, Margreet ten Have

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)
148 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Mood and anxiety disorders are associated with growing burden of disease. Recent evidence shows that monitoring and enhancing positive mental health might be one direction to reduce this burden. The aim was to determine whether positive mental health predict recovery from mental disorders. Methods: The study population consisted of 414 participants with a 12-month disorder from the representative general population Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study-2. Independent positive mental health indicators were mental well-being, its subscales emotional, social and psychological well-being and the category flourishing mental health. Recovery was defined as no longer fulfilling DSM-IV criteria of the index disorder 3 years later. Results: Despite meeting the criteria of a 12-month mental disorder, 19% with anxiety disorder were flourishing and 14% with mood disorder. Logistic regression analyses controlled for sociodemographics, physical health, life-events, service use, psychotropic medication, comorbidity and clinical severity showed that positive mental health positively influenced recovery from anxiety disorder (mainly by emotional and psychological well-being) and did not influence recovery from mood disorder. Limitations: The results are not generalizable to psychiatric patients in treatment settings and might differ for specific disorders within each DSM-IV category. Conclusions: Clinicians are encouraged to measure positive mental health in their patients and to improve positive mental health particularly in people with an anxiety disorder. The non-significant relation between positive mental health and recovery from mood disorder warrants further research, for example through using more in-depth assessment of positive mental health components and by investigating recovery from less severe mood disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-113
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Early online date8 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • Anxiety disorder
  • Longitudinal survey
  • Mental health recovery
  • Mental well-being
  • Mood disorder


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