Adolescent depression and anxiety disorders are two distinct psychiatric disorders, according to Dr. William W. Hale III (a researcher of the Langeveld Institute for the Study of Education and Development in Childhood and Adolescence at Utrecht University) in a recent publication in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
Hale and his colleagues conducted a five-year, longitudinal study of secondary school adolescents. Every year the depressive and anxiety disorder symptoms of the adolescents were measured. Hale and his colleagues concluded that while adolescent anxiety and depression were strongly related to one another, that adolescent depression and anxiety disorder symptoms are in fact best classified as two distinct disorders.
These conclusions are of importance for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) that is planned for publication in 2012. Adolescent depression and anxiety disorders are presently classified in the revised fourth edition of the DSM (DSM-IV-TR), however it has been suggested that these two disorders be given a join classification in the DSM-V. Hale argues that the present-day classification of adolescent depression and anxiety disorders be preserved in the DSM-V.