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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Melany Danehy, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This is an evidence-based book on the comorbidity of anxiety disorders with depression. Along with the companion volume, Anxiety Disorders Comorbid with Depression: Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia, all the major anxiety disorders are covered, with emphasis on their relationship to depression.
Purpose: The purpose is to argue that comorbidity is a key tool for understanding mood and anxiety disorders. This is an important point and this book gives much needed attention to this area. The authors bring out the relevance of comorbidity in understanding mood and anxiety disorders.
Audience: The intended audience of practicing clinicians will benefit from this book, but it would also be appropriate for senior trainees. The three authors hold academic positions at respected universities and one of them is a director of an Anxiety Disorders Unit.
Features: The book describes each of the title's anxiety disorders, their association with depression and its symptoms, and the underlying similarities and differences in psychobiology and treatment of the two types of disorders. Particular attention to recent findings in neuroendocrinology adds substance to the book. Although tables are included, they are chiefly intended as summaries, and not necessarily bullet points. The figures are useful, as are the "take-home messages" at the end of the chapters. The references are relatively recent and well chosen for the evidence-based aspect of this book.
Assessment: In general, this is a useful and concise examination of the relationship between anxiety disorders and depression. The authors appropriately emphasize the importance of looking for comorbidity and treating it (e.g., panic/anxiety as a risk factor for suicide in depressed patients). Considering the emphasis on DSM-IV diagnosis in the field, this book goes past that level, to examine the actual symptoms and their overlap among these various disorders.