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Comorbid Anxiety and Depression.

Mark H. Pollack, MD

Published: November 15, 2005

Article Abstract

Anxiety and depressive disorders often occur as comorbid illnesses and share many commonsymptoms. Risk factors for these disorders most likely include interactions of environmental and geneticfactors. The presence of comorbid anxiety and depression adversely affects clinical and treatmentoutcomes. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are usually considered first-line treatment forpatients with these disorders, although alternative antidepressants or additional therapies are oftennecessary. Studies suggest that benzodiazepines, anticonvulsants, and atypical antipsychotics may beeffective as augmentation therapy to optimize outcome, with buspirone and beta-blockers usefulin some patients as well. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is also an effective therapeutic alternative foraffected patients.

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