PTSD and Depression

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There is often a link between PTSD and depression. Depression is a mental condition in which a person feels sad, down or unhappy for an extended period of time. It comes in a variety of shapes and size, with some depression cases lasting an extremely long time, while others remain relatively mild.

Via the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition,” here are some of the most recognizable symptoms of depression:

Depressed mood for almost every day and for the majority of the day.

1. Loss of interest or pleasure in activities.
2. Considerable weight loss or weight gain.
3. Difficulties falling asleep or sleeping too much.
4. Feeling constantly on edge and restless or lethargic and "slowed down."
5. Feeling worthless and/or guilty.
6. Difficulties concentrating and/or making decisions.
7. Thoughts of ending one's own life.

According to the DSM-IV, to be diagnosed with a major depressive episode, a person must experience 5 of these symptoms all within the same 2-week (or longer) period.
Over the last decade or so, an increasing amount of dual, PTSD and depression cases have been documented. According to some studies, approximately 48 percent of people who currently suffer from PTSD currently have, or have had in the past at least one battle with depression. Furthermore, people with PTSD at some point in their lives are almost seven times more likely to have depression than people who have never suffered from PTSD. Finally, a recent study indicated that 44.5 percent of people with PTSD one month after experiencing a traumatic event also received a diagnosis of depression.

Because of the inherent link between PTSD and depression, it is important to seek treatment for one or both of the disorders as soon as a person realizes that they have them. By letting PTSD and depression go untreated, a sufferer opens themselves up to having to deal with very serious ramifications down the road.

Anyone who thinks they may have PTSD and depression should consult their local physician and seek treatment out as soon as possible.

 
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