Anxiety Disorders

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Comorbid anxiety and anxiety disorders appear to be associated with increased suicidal behavior in bipolar disorder. Simon et al. (2004) found that a history of an anxiety disorder was an independent risk factor for a more severe and debilitative course of bipolar illness, and brought on higher risk of attempting suicide (odds ratio = 2.45, 95% CI = 1.4-4.2). Anxiety disorders were highly prevalent in this study, with a lifetime history of an anxiety disorder in 51.2% of the sample. A current anxiety disorder was present in 30.5% of subjects.

Henry et al. (2003) did not find such an association in a smaller sample of 318 subjects with bipolar disorder. Only 24% of this sample had a lifetime anxiety disorder, and there was no increase in suicide attempts in the subjects with a history of an anxiety disorder. This sample may not have had enough statistical power to find such a difference, and their negative finding may represent a type II error (i.e., failing to find a difference when one actually exists).

A high level of lifetime panic symptoms appears to be associated with both suicidal ideation, increased depression, and a much delayed time to recover from an index mood episode in subjects with bipolar I disorder (Frank et al. 2002). They postulate that panic spectrum symptoms in patients with bipolar disorder represent a high-risk group, even if they do not meet DSM-IV-TR syndromal criteria for panic disorder. The delay to recovery is striking, with the high-panic group taking 44 weeks to recover from an acute mood episode compared with 17 weeks in the low-panic group.

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Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Suffering from Anxiety or Panic Attacks? Discover The Secrets to Stop Attacks in Their Tracks! Your heart is racing so fast and you don’t know why, at least not at first. Then your chest tightens and you feel like you are having a heart attack. All of a sudden, you start sweating and getting jittery.

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