Depression And Anxiety In Epilepsy What Do We Know

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Several recent population-based studies have reported elevated symptoms of depression and anxiety among adults and children with epilepsy (Davies et al.; 2003: Strine et al.: 2005: Tellez-Zenteno et al.: 2005: Kobau et al.: 2006). However, in the epilepsy literature the co-occurrence of depression and anxiety has received limited attention. Depression and anxiety disorders are frequently reported in over arching categories (e.g., internalizing disorder, neurosis) with no ability to distinguish the individual prevalence rates of each disorder (Jacoby et al.: 1996; Davies et al.: 2003: Strine et al.: 2003), or depression and anxiety are reported as distinct disorders with no acknowledgement of co-occurrence (Ring et al.: 1998; Glosser et al.; 2000) . Recently, in the 2004 HealthStyles Survey, a large population-based mail survey, Kobau et al. (2006) found 16.7% (OR 3.2; 95% CI 1.4-7.4) of individuals with active epilepsy reported both depression and anxiety during the past year. In a multicenter study, among individuals who met criteria for current depressive disorders, 27 of37 (73%) had a current anxiety disorder (Jones et al.; 2005).

Among a sample of 100 children with complex partial seizures and 71 with childhood absence epilepsy, Caplan et al. (2005) reported 3.5% of the sample met criteria for both depression and anxiety, and interestingly, there were no co-occurring diagnoses of anxiety and depression among children with absence seizures. Depression and anxiety disorders demand more attention and investigation in order to have a greater understanding of the co-occurrence of these two disorders in epilepsy.

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