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date: 25 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Anxiety and depressive disorders frequently co-occur, yet the reasons for their comorbidity are poorly understood. This chapter reviews patterns of comorbidity between DSM-IV-defined anxiety disorders and major depression, including estimates derived for this chapter from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Next, nearly a dozen candidate explanations for comorbidity are evaluated in light of extant research on these disorders. Results suggest that although estimates may be inflated by artifacts of sampling and nosology, comorbidity at least partly reflects etiologically meaningful relationships between anxiety and depression. Shared risk factors contributing to these relationships are considered and future directions are proposed, most notably the investigation of pathways through which risk factors lead to anxiety and depression in daily life. A full understanding of comorbidity will require moving beyond descriptions of co-occurrence to explaining why and how comorbidity occurs.

Keywords: anxiety, depression, comorbidity, co-occurrence, explanatory models, risk factors, mechanisms

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