The diagnostic validity of anxiety disorders and their relationship to depressive illness

A. Breier, D. S. Charney, G. R. Heninger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

209 Scopus citations


Several serious questions exist regarding the diagnostic classification of anxiety disorders. The authors examine the diagnostic validity of generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder and explore their relationship to major depression, critically reviewing relevant descriptive, lifetime occurrence, family and genetic, drug treatment, and neurobiological studies. There is strong support for the diagnostic validity of panic disorder, but few data are found to support a separate diagnostic classification of generalized anxiety disorder. In addition, several lines of evidence suggest that a common vulnerability may exist for some forms of panic disorder and major depression. The implications of these findings for diagnostic application, treatment, and future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)787-797
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this