Why Do PTSD And Depression Occur Together?

Post-traumatic stress disorder and depression are two different psychological problems, but they occur together among a large number of people. A national survey, cited by the National Center for PTSD, found that people with PTSD are 3 to 5 times more likely to be depressed than people without PTSD. Another study found that people who have suffered from PTSD at some point in their life are nearly 7 times more likely to have depression than those without PTSD.

Why do PTSD and depression occur together?

Depression and PTSD are both common responses to trauma. People who have experienced a traumatic event may feel emotions common to depression, such as guilt, regret, sadness, and loss of trust, as well as feelings of fear and PTSD symptoms like nightmares and flashbacks.

Additionally, the symptoms of PTSD can be severe and depressing. In fact, there is some overlap between symptoms of PTSD and depression. Both disorders can cause insomnia, trouble focusing and concentrating loss of pleasure or interest in things that used to be enjoyable, and feelings of detachment or disconnectedness from friends and family. Experiencing these and other symptoms of PTSD can be sad and lonely and may cause or worsen depression in some people.

People with PTSD who are also depressed may find it difficult to seek help, but it is important to realize that both disorders are treatable conditions that can improve significantly with the proper treatment.

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