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Comorbidity of Axis I Disorders in Patients With Traumatic Grief

J Clin Psychiatry 2001;62(11):884-887

Background: Traumatic grief has been found to be a distinct disorder from both depression and anxiety; however, there is no information in the literature regarding comorbidity of traumatic grief with other psychiatric disorders.

Method: Twenty-three bereaved subjects who presented for treatment of traumatic grief symptomatology were included in this study. The Inventory of Complicated Grief (ICG) was used to confirm the presence of traumatic grief and assess its severity. In addition, the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV was performed.

Results: Most subjects met criteria for a current or lifetime Axis I diagnosis. Fifty-two percent (N = 12) met criteria for current major depressive disorder, and 30% (N = 7), for current posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). ICG scores and functional impairment were higher among patients with more than one concurrent Axis I diagnosis.

Conclusion: Comorbid major depressive disorder and PTSD may be prevalent in patients presenting for treatment of traumatic grief.