Mixed Depression and Anxiety: Serotonin1A Receptors as a Common Pharmacologic Link

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Although depressive and anxious symptoms frequently coexist, most studies tend to dichotomize anxiety disorders from depression. Consequently, pharmacologic agents are designated as antidepressants or anxiolytics. A number of developments are reversing this trend. One is changes in conceptualization of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and major depressive disorder to recognize the frequent existence of simultaneous symptoms of anxiety and depression in patients with related affective and anxiety disorders. A second is the increasing recognition that subsyndromal symptoms of anxiety and depression frequently exist that do not reach thresholds for GAD or depression but that may decompensate to overt anxiety disorder or depression. A third is the discovery of partial agonists for serotonin1A receptor subtypes that have promising efficacy in mixed depression and anxiety.

J Clin Psychiatry 1997;58(suppl 8):20–26