Comorbidity of Diagnoses

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There is substantial overlap among disorders in the DSM-IV. With others, Klein and Riso (1993) have asked whether these disorders represent discrete, "natural" classes or artificial categories created by the establishment of arbitrary cutoffs on a continuum. In a report from the National Co-morbidity Survey (NCS), Blazer and his colleagues (Blazer, Kessler, McGonagle, & Swartz, 1994) confirmed the high rates of co-occurrence between major depression and a range of other psychiatric disorders. Kessler and colleagues (Kessler, Sonnega, Bromet, Hughes, & Nelson, 1995), in a second NCS article, reported that Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is strongly comorbid with other lifetime DSM-III-R disorders in both men and women, especially the affective disorders, the Anxiety Disorders, and the Substance Use Disorders. Magee and his colleagues (Magee, Eaton, Wittchen, McGonagle, & Kessler, 1996) report that lifetime phobias are highly comorbid with each other, with other Anxiety Disorders, and with affective disorders.

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