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J Nerv Ment Dis. 1995 May;183(5):304-8.

Depression and generalized anxiety symptoms in panic disorder. Implications for comorbidity.

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Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis 46202-5111, USA.


Questionnaires and clinician rating scales have been used to assess anxious and depressive symptoms among patients with panic disorder, but these methods do not usually evaluate symptoms in the same terms as the standardized criteria of diagnostic interviews. The present study provides data on the prevalence of symptoms of major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder in 64 patients with panic disorder. Symptoms were assessed using DSM-III-R definitional criteria that consider not only the presence and severity of symptoms, but also their duration and pervasiveness. Depressive symptoms that most frequently met definitional criteria for diagnostic significance were fatigue, insomnia, and concentration difficulties. Over 50% of the sample endorsed feelings of tension, irritability, and restlessness. Disturbances in appetite, feelings of worthlessness, and suicidal ideation were found in less than 10% of the nondepressed panic patients. The implications of these findings for conceptualizing the comorbidity among anxiety and depressive disorders are discussed.

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