Conclusions

As clinicians well know, psychiatric comorbidity tends to be the rule rather than the exception for patients presenting for clinical treatment. For anxiety patients with comorbid depression, the clinical trial literature provides encouraging evidence for the degree to which anxiety treatments may be resilient to the influence of depression comorbidity. In comparison, available evidence for the resilience of depression treatment to the effects of anxiety comorbidity is less encouraging, although both areas of inquiry are clearly in need of further controlled study. In this chapter, we have discussed principles that may aid the selection of the appropriate initial targets and strategies for treatment in individuals with co-occurring anxiety and depression. As always, in this enterprise, the clinician and patient are aided by a careful and collaborative functional analysis of the controlling links between negative affective, avoidant, and other maladaptive patterns that can maintain disorders.

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