Psychological medicine

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Differentiating Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms

  • Coexistence of anxiety and depressive symptoms is common: 
  1. Depressive symptoms occur secondarily especially in panic disorder, agoraphobia and OCD. If anxiety disorders go untreated ® demoralised and progressive restrictions on function ® depression 
  2. Anxiousness and irritability are seen in the majority of depressed patients, panic attacks may occur
  • Differentiating:
  1. GAD/Panic disorder don‟t usually have full range of vegetative symptoms
  2. Anxious patients have trouble getting to sleep, depressed wake early
  3. Anxious patients don‟t loose the capacity to enjoy things or be cheered up
  4. Asking which symptoms came first can be helpful