How is depression with anxious distress defined in the DSM-5?

Updated: Aug 06, 2020
  • Author: Jerry L Halverson, MD; Chief Editor: David Bienenfeld, MD  more...
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Anxious distress is defined as the presence of at least 2 of the following symptoms [2] :

  • Feeling keyed up or tense

  • Feeling unusually restless

  • Difficulty concentrating because of worry

  • Fear that something awful may happen

  • Feeling of potential loss of control

Severity is further specified as:

  • Mild: Two symptoms

  • Moderate: Three symptoms

  • Moderate-severe: Four or five symptoms

  • Severe: Four or five symptoms with motor agitation

High levels of anxiety are associated with higher suicide risk, longer duration of illness and greater likelihood of nonresponse to treatment.

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