Axis I and Axis II disorder comorbidity in unipolar depression with anger attacks

Joyce Tedlow, Vinita Leslie, Bronwyn R. Keefe, Jonathan Alpert, Andrew A. Nierenberg, Jerrold F. Rosenbaum, Maurizio Fava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Objective: We evaluated whether anger attacks in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) are associated with higher rates of panic or other Axis I or II comorbid disorders. Methods: 306 out-patients (163 women, mean age 39.5±10.5) with MDD were administered the Structured Clinical Interviews for Axis I and II Disorders, and the Anger Attacks Questionnaire. Results: Patients with anger attacks showed only a trend toward a significantly higher rate of current panic disorder (P = 0.06) but no other difference in Axis I comorbidity. In addition patients with anger attacks had a slightly but significantly greater degree of depression severity. Consistent with previous studies, we have also found that depressed patients with anger attacks had significantly higher rates of dependent, avoidant, narcissistic, borderline, and antisocial personality disorders than those without anger attacks. Conclusion: Anger attacks do not appear to be associated with any specific pattern of Axis I comorbidity, but they are certainly linked with certain personality disorders. It is possible that the acute depressive state may have confounded the assessment of personality disorder rates, as well as the presence of anger attacks. On the other hand, both depressed patient groups (with or without anger attacks) were subject to the same confounding effect as their depression severity was rather comparable, thereby limiting the impact of this potential bias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-223
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Anger attacks
  • Comorbidity
  • Unipolar depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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