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Med J Aust. 2013 Sep 16;199(6 Suppl):S28-31.

Depression and anxiety.

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University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.


Comorbid depression and anxiety disorders occur in up to 25% of general practice patients. About 85% of patients with depression have significant anxiety, and 90% of patients with anxiety disorder have depression. Symptomatology may initially seem vague and non-specific. A careful history and examination with relevant investigations should be used to make the diagnosis. Once the diagnosis is made, rating scales may identify illness severity and help in monitoring treatment progress. Both the depression disorder and the specific anxiety disorder require appropriate treatment. Psychological therapies, such as cognitive behaviour therapy, and antidepressants, occasionally augmented with antipsychotics, have proven benefit for treating both depression and anxiety. Benzodiazepines may help alleviate insomnia and anxiety but not depression. They have dependency and withdrawal issues for some people, and may increase the risk of falls in older people. Despite the availability of treatments, 40% of patients with depression or anxiety do not seek treatment, and of those who do, less than half are offered beneficial treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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