Anxiety Associated With Comorbid Depression




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Historically, the clinical term for mixed depression and anxiety was anxious depression. With the publication of DSM-III-R, 2 categories were established for the purpose of classifying disorders that involve both anxiety and depression, and that classification system is currently used in DSM-IV as well. These more specific diagnostic criteria have given us a much better understanding of the anxiety spectrum, but have created a need for a better understanding of the place of benzodiazepines in clearly defined indications on the anxiety spectrum. In spite of warnings about side effects, misuse, and dependence, benzodiazepines are frequently prescribed as adjunctive therapy to antidepressants for comorbid anxiety and depression. This article presents data on the prevalence, course, and outcome of comorbid anxiety and depression. It also compares efficacy data from trials of benzodiazepines used alone and in combination with antidepressants for the treatment of anxiety disorders comorbid with depression.

J Clin Psychiatry 2002;63(suppl 14):22-26