Question: Can an anxiety disorder be associated with other psychiatric disorders?
Answer: Anxiety disorders are one of the most co-morbid disorders that we encounter. What this means is that they can coexist with other anxiety disorders and other psychiatric disorders. Disorders such as generalized social phobia may coexist with generalized anxiety disorder. But anxiety disorders may also coexist with other disorders such as major depressive disorder. In outpatients, approximately two thirds of our patients who've been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder also have a major depressive disorder.
In addition, the National Institute of Mental Health has recently published information to the effect that bipolar disorder is commonly co-morbid with anxiety disorders, with up to 30 to 40 percent of patients with bipolar disorder also having an anxiety disorder.
In addition, psychotic disorders may be associated with co-morbid anxiety disorders, and numerous other disorders -- such as eating disorders and impulse control disorders -- may also be associated with anxiety disorders.
A group of disorders called somatoform disorders, which are disorders that present as physical symptoms without an obvious physical cause, are often associated with anxiety disorders as well.