Anxiety and depression frequently co-occur and are viewed by many theorists as aspects of a unitary disorder. In contrast, the diagnostic nomenclature views anxiety and depression as discrete disorders, and current protocols for anxiety and depression treat the disorders separately. To test the hypothesis (based on the unitary view) that anxiety and depression are tightly related and change together over the course of treatment, we monitored week-by-week changes in symptoms of anxiety and depression in 58 outpatients treated naturalistically in private practice with cognitive-behavior therapy. Results were more supportive of a unitary than a discrete view, and showed that anxiety and depression were highly predictive of one another over the course of treatment. These findings lend support to a view of anxiety and depression as more unitary than discrete, and suggest the need to consider changes in the diagnostic nomenclature and in treatment strategies for anxious depressed patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology