More than half of people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also
suffer from depression, according to a new study.
Researchers reviewed the findings of 57 studies that included more than 6 600
civilians and military personnel who suffered from PTSD and found that 52% of
them also had symptoms of depression.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that usually stems from a traumatic event, and
its symptoms include avoidance behaviours and flashbacks to bad memories. In
depressive disorders, people feel lingering and overwhelming sadness and
hopelessness. Symptoms of depression can range from "feeling blue" to thoughts
Previous estimates suggested that anywhere from 20% to 80% of people with
PTSD also had depression.
Depression and PTSD
This new analysis also showed that rates of depression were similar among men
and women with PTSD, said the researchers in Case Western Reserve University's
department of psychological sciences.
The findings, published online in the Journal of Traumatic Stress,
show the need to routinely assess patients for both depression and PTSD, the
study authors said.
"If individuals do not get a comprehensive assessment of what's bothering
them, one or the other can be missed," lead investigator Nina Rytwinski said in
a university news release.
The findings also show the need to improve how men are treated. Doctors tend
to identify depression more frequently in women, while symptoms of depression in
men can be misattributed to PTSD.
"The biases against men with PTSD symptoms put them at risk for under
diagnosis and under treatment of a major depressive disorder," Rytwinski
The US National Institute of Mental Health has more about post-traumatic
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