All types of anxiety disorders can be very debilitating and seriously affect a person’s quality of life.
Association with Depression and Bipolar Disorders
Depression. Depression is very common in people with an anxiety disorder, and it is sometimes difficult to distinguish one from the other because either or both can be accompanied by anxious feelings, agitation, insomnia, and problems with concentration.
The combination of depression and anxiety is a major risk factor for both substance abuse and suicide.
Bipolar Disorder. Symptoms of panic disorder are very common in people with bipolar disorder. Furthermore, anxiety worsens bipolar disorder.
Increased Risk for Suicide
Panic disorder is associated with a risk for suicidal thoughts. Studies report that up to 18% of people with panic disorder attempt suicide and up to 39% regularly harbor suicidal thoughts, with the risks being higher in people with both panic disorder and depression. Social phobias and OCD also increase the risk of suicide. If a person has an anxiety disorder and a mood disorders (such as depression), the risk for suicide is even higher. [For more information on suicide risks and prevention, see In-Depth Report #8: Depression.]
Alcoholism and Other Forms of Substance Abuse
Review Date: 01/27/2011
Reviewed By: Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.