Among adults, depression and anxiety are closely linked yet distinct entities. Historically, the association has been generally applied to teens and adolescents.
This distinction may be modified to be a “joined” relationship in a new version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V). Adolescent depression and anxiety disorders are presently classified separately in the revised fourth edition of the DSM (DSM-IV-TR).
According to a Dutch researcher, however, the two disorders are distinct in children and adolescents and should continue to be reported as such.
Dr. William W. Hale III, a researcher of the Langeveld Institute for the Study of Education and Development in Childhood and Adolescence at Utrecht University, presented his thoughts in a recent publication in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
Hale and his colleagues came to their conclusions after a five-year, longitudinal study of secondary school adolescents.
The researchers measured each child’s depressive and anxiety disorder symptoms each year. From this, they concluded that while adolescent anxiety and depression were strongly related to one another, that adolescent depression and anxiety disorder symptoms are in fact best classified as two distinct disorders.