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Depression is common in men and women with
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The trauma that
caused PTSD also may cause depression.
If you have either of
these mental health problems, it is possible you have the other. You may need
to treat both of them.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can
occur after you have been through a traumatic event. A traumatic event is
something horrible and scary that you see or that happens to you. During this
type of event, you think that your life or others' lives are in danger.
Anyone who has gone through a life-threatening event can develop PTSD.
These events include:
After going through a traumatic event, you may feel upset
by things that remind you of what happened. You may have nightmares, vivid
memories, or flashbacks of the event and feel like it's happening all over
again. You also may avoid situations that remind you of the event, and you may
feel numb or lose interest in things you used to care about.
Depression happens more often than any other medical problem in women who
have PTSD, and it occurs often in men with PTSD.1
make you feel overwhelmed, sad, or hopeless. You may feel like your problems
are piling up, and you can't fix them. These symptoms can last for a long time,
or they might come and go. Being depressed doesn't mean you're weak, and it
doesn't mean you're just feeling sorry for yourself. It is a problem that can
Common symptoms of depression are:2
Other symptoms of depression include losing or gaining
weight, sleeping too much or too little, and feeling unworthy or guilty.
If you think you have PTSD or
depression, talk to your doctor. Starting treatment is the best thing you can
Both PTSD and depression can lead to suicide.
Call 911 or other emergency services if you (or someone you care about who has
depression or PTSD):
warning signs of suicide seriously.
Kessler RC, et al. (1995). Posttraumatic stress
disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey. Archives of General Psychiatry, 52(12): 1048–1060.
American Psychiatric Association (2000). Depressive disorders. In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed., text rev., pp. 349–381. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
Current as of:
January 9, 2013
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Jessica Hamblen, PhD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
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