J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc.  2011 Jul;50(4):297-304.

Depressive Symptoms in Anxiety Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder

  • 1Department of Neuropsychiatry, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul and Hanyang University Guri Hospital, Guri, Korea. dkim9289@hanyang.ac.kr


Depressive symptoms are often exhibited by individuals with anxiety disorders. Comorbidity with depressive disorder is associated with more severe symptoms and poorer outcomes in the course of illness. In this study we investigated the symptomatic and sociodemographic correlates of depressive symptoms in anxiety disorders and compared them with those in major depressive disorder.
At a psychiatric ward of a university-affiliated hospital, 192 outpatients with anxiety disorders and 119 with major depressive disorder (MDD) were recruited for a consecutive sample. They completed a questionnaire that included Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), State and Trait Anxiety Inventory, and socio-demographic variables.
Compared to those with depressive disorders, patients with anxiety disorders showed significantly lower levels of depressive symptoms. However, the difference was confined to the negative attitude sub-scale of BDI, not somatic symptoms and performance difficulty. Multiple regression analysis showed factors that a Global Severity Index of SCL-90-R, state anxiety, lower education, and older age predicted depression in anxiety disorders. In contrast, the Global Severity Index and trait anxiety were extracted for MDD.
This cross-sectional study indicated that depressive symptoms in anxiety disorders can be differentiated from those of MDD so as to lower level of the core cognitive symptoms of depression. Further studies may benefit from looking at both depressive symptoms and co-morbid depressive diagnosis.


Depression; Anxiety disorders; Depressive disorder; Major
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