What Connects Depression Anxiety And Ptsd
In the largest study of its kind, researchers identify similarities in the brain activity of people with major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders.
Mental health disorders, although incredibly prevalent, remain poorly understood.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, almost adults in the United States live with a mental illness.
About half of the U.S. population will experience a mental health condition at some point in their life.
Medication and talking therapies are useful for many people, but understanding the neurological roots of these conditions is proving challenging.
How Are The Conditions Treated
While depression and PTSD can leave those affected and their close family and friends feeling helpless and alone, there is hope. Depression and PTSD share common treatment methods including medications, service animals, and psychotherapy. If you believe you or a loved one is suffering from depression or PTSD, see a doctor immediately to discuss treatment options.
A doctor may prescribe antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and sleep aids to help treat the symptoms of both PTSD and depression. Participating in psychotherapy, or talk therapy, in addition to taking medications can help those affected learn how to manage emotions and the symptoms. For those with PTSD, exposure therapy and cognitive restructuring has proven successful in helping individuals control their fears and make sense of traumatic memories.
The use of service dogs to help combat feelings of anxiety, depression and fear that are associated with PTSD and depression is also common. Studies have found that petting an animal can relieve stress and service dogs are professionally trained to assist individuals during panic attacks, night terrors, and protect them in crowded rooms or distract them from maladaptive behaviors.
What Causes Complex Ptsd
The types of traumatic events that can cause complex PTSD include:
- childhood abuse, neglect or abandonment
- ongoing domestic violence or abuse
- repeatedly witnessing violence or abuse
- being forced or manipulated into prostitution
- torture, kidnapping or slavery
- being a prisoner of war.
You are more likely to develop complex PTSD if:
- you experienced trauma at an early age
- the trauma lasted for a long time
- escape or rescue were unlikely or impossible
- you have experienced multiple traumas
- you were harmed by someone close to you.
Developing PTSD after experiencing domestic violence was not something I was prepared for. Physically I left my old home. Mentally I am still there. The prison is no longer that house it is my mind. My thoughts. My memories.
Misdiagnosis with BPD
Some of the symptoms of complex PTSD are very similar to those of borderline personality disorder , and not all professionals are aware of complex PTSD.
As a result, some people are given a diagnosis of BPD or another personality disorder when complex PTSD fits their experiences more closely. Professionals disagree about when it’s helpful to diagnose someone with a personality disorder or when another diagnosis or description is better. To find out more see our page on why personality disorders are controversial?
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Ptsd In Military Veterans
For all too many veterans, returning from military service means coping with symptoms of PTSD. You may have a hard time readjusting to life out of the military. Or you may constantly feel on edge, emotionally numb and disconnected, or close to panicking or exploding. But its important to know that youre not alone and there are plenty of ways you can deal with nightmares and flashbacks, cope with feelings of depression, anxiety or guilt, and regain your sense of control.
Ptsd With Depression May Significantly Increase Risk Of Early Death In Women
For immediate release: December 4, 2020
Boston, MA Women with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression have an almost fourfold greater risk of early death from cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, type 2 diabetes, accidents, suicide, and other causes than women without trauma exposure or depression, according to a large long-term study conducted by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The study examines longevityin a way, the ultimate health outcomeand the findings strengthen our understanding that mental and physical health are tightly interconnected, said Andrea Roberts, lead author of the study and a senior research scientist in the Department of Environmental Health. This is particularly salient during the pandemic, which is exposing many Americans and others across the world to unusual stress while at the same time reducing social connections, which can be powerfully protective for our mental health.
The study, which is the first study of co-occurring PTSD and depression in a large population of civilian women, was published online December 4, 2020 in JAMA Network Open. Previous research on PTSD and depression has primarily focused on men in the military.
Treatment of PTSD and depression in women with symptoms of both disorders may reduce their substantial increased risk of mortality, the researchers said.
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Evidence Supporting Ptsd/mdd Comorbidity As An Artifact Of Symptom Overlap
The diagnostic criteria for a major depressive episode have remained essentially constant across versions of the DSM from 1980 to 2013. There are 9 diagnostic criteria, and 5 must be present in order to meet diagnostic threshold. A DSM-III5 diagnosis required that 1 of the 9 criteria include depressed mood. In DSM-III-R6 and later versions,7–9 the criteria were revised such that the symptom of anhedonia could substitute for depressed mood. In contrast, the diagnostic criteria for PTSD have changed substantially over the same time period. Table I presents the symptom lists for the different versions of DSM. Note that the DSM-IIIR, DSM-W, and DSM-TV-TR versions are presented together in one column, as the criteria did not change appreciably across these three versions. The PTSD symptoms that overlap with MDD are presented in red text and include anhedonia, sleep disturbance, and concentration difficulties three symptoms that appear in the PTSD diagnosis across all versions of the DSM. The number of possible PTSD symptoms expanded from 12 in DSM-III to 20 in DSM-5. New symptoms that appear with iterations of the PTSD diagnosis are shown in blue text. The changes to the PTSD diagnosis in DSM-5 also brought forth a new symptom that overlaps between the two disorders, as guilt was added to the PTSD diagnostic criteria. Note that this symptom was present in the original diagnostic description of PTSD in DSM-III.
What Can I Do About Feelings Of Depression
Depression can make you feel worn out, worthless, helpless, hopeless, and sad. These feelings can make you feel as though you are never going to feel better. You may even think that you should just give up. Some symptoms of depression, such as being tired or not having the desire to do anything, can also get in the way of your seeking treatment.
It is very important for you to know that these negative thoughts and feelings are part of depression. If you think you might be depressed, you should seek help in spite of these feelings. You can expect them to change as treatment begins working. In the meantime, here is a list of things you can do that may improve your mood:
- Talk with your doctor or healthcare provider.
- Talk with family and friends.
- Spend more time with others and get support from them. Don’t close yourself off.
- Take part in activities that might make you feel better. Do the things you used to enjoy before you began feeling depressed. Even if you don’t feel like it, try doing some of these things. Chances are you will feel better after you do.
- Engage in mild exercise.
- Set realistic goals for yourself.
- Break up goals and tasks into smaller ones that you can manage.
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Where To Find Help
here to help now
You are not alone. Help may be one phone call or text away. If you feel suicidal, alone, or overwhelmed, call 911 or contact one of these 24-hour hotlines:
- US Veterans Crisis Line: Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, or text 838255
- Crisis Text Line: Text CONNECT to 741741
If you believe you have either PTSD or depression, make an appointment to see a healthcare provider. They can recommend or refer you to a mental health specialist for evaluation and treatment.
If youre a veteran and need help, call the Veteran Center Call Center hotline at 1-877-927-8387. At this number, youll get to talk with another combat veteran. Family members can also speak to other family members of vets with PTSD and depression.
find a counselor in your area
If you dont have a doctor or mental health specialist you see regularly in your area, call your local hospitals patient outreach office.
They can help you find a doctor or provider near you that treats the conditions youre seeking to cover.
Biological Factors That Distinguish Between Ptsd And Mdd
In contrast to the risk factor research described above, biological studies that address PTSD/MDD comorbidity generally examine how PTSD and MDD have distinct, and sometimes diverging, biological signals. This research includes studies that examine structural and functional neuroimaging, measures of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis, and more recently, DNA molecular markers .
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How Are Ptsd And Depression Connected
Experts believe that PTSD may be connected due to a chemical imbalance in the brain or genetics, but others claim that it is more likely a reaction to the traumatic event. For example, some people who live in an abusive household may get depression, others may have PTSD, while others could suffer from both. The two also share some of the same symptoms such as:
- Sleep disturbances
- Lacking interest in favorite activities
- Lack of concentration
High Rates Of Depression And Ptsd Found In Flint 5 Years After Water Crisis
Very high rates of depression and PTSD linked to water contamination
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DURHAM, N.C. — Data from the largest mental health survey of the Flint, Michigan community indicate that one in five adults, or roughly 13,600 people, were estimated to have clinical depression, and one in four, or 15,000 people, were estimated to have PTSD five years after the water crisis began.
The mental health burden of Americas largest public-works environmental disaster clearly continues for many adults in Flint, said Aaron Reuben, a postdoctoral scholar at Duke University who led the research, which appears Sept. 20 in JAMA Network Open.
On April 25, 2014, the city of Flint switched its water supply from Lake Huron and the Detroit River to the Flint River and failed to properly treat the water supply to prevent lead and other elements from leaching out of the citys old water pipes. Virtually all Flint residents were consequently exposed to drinking water with unsafe levels of bacteria, disinfection byproducts, and lead, a neurotoxicant.
Flint drinking water was not declared lead-free until Jan. 24, 2017. During the crisis, tens of thousands of children and adults in Flint developed high blood-lead levels, putting them at greater risk for cognitive deficits, mental health problems, and other health problems later in life.
Study findings suggest that more should be done to provide mental health treatment for residents of Flint.
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Ptsd Symptoms In Children
In children especially very young children the symptoms of PTSD can differ from those of adults and may include:
- Fear of being separated from their parent.
- Losing previously-acquired skills .
- Sleep problems and nightmares.
- Somber, compulsive play in which themes or aspects of the trauma are repeated.
- New phobias and anxieties that seem unrelated to the trauma .
- Acting out the trauma through play, stories, or drawings.
- Aches and pains with no apparent cause.
- Irritability and aggression.
Do you have PTSD?
If you answer yes to three or more of the questions below, you may have PTSD and its worthwhile to visit a qualified mental health professional.
What Can I Do If Im Not Happy With My Treatment
If you arent happy with your treatment you can:
- talk to your doctor about your treatment options,
- ask for a second opinion,
- get an advocate to help you speak to your doctor,
- contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service , or
- make a complaint.
There is more information about these options below.
How can I speak to my doctor about my treatment options?
You can speak to your doctor about your treatment. Explain why you arent happy with it. You could ask what other treatments you could try.
Tell your doctor if there is a type of treatment that you would like to try. Doctors should listen to your preference. If you arent given this treatment, ask your doctor to explain why it isnt suitable for you.
Whats a second opinion?
A second opinion means that you would like a different doctor to give their opinion about what treatment you should have. You can also ask for a second opinion if you disagree with your diagnosis.
You dont have a right to a second opinion. But your doctor should listen to your reason for wanting a second opinion.
What is advocacy?
An advocate is independent from the mental health service. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard.
There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like. NHS complaints advocates can help you if you want to complain about the NHS.
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What Treatments Are There
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence the organisation that produces guidelines on best practice in health care has not yet developed recommendations specifically for complex PTSD. They caution that the existing guidelines for PTSD weren’t developed for this kind of diagnosis.
You may find standard treatments for PTSD helpful, but many people with complex PTSD need more long-term, intensive support to recover. As part of your treatment you should also be offered support for other problems you experience, such as depression, drug and alcohol use or dissociation. The treatment you are offered may depend on what’s available in your local area.
See our treatment for PTSD page for more about the treatments available, which may be useful for complex PTSD. Or visit our page on self-care for PTSD for tips on how to look after yourself when you have complex PTSD.
Tip : Support Ptsd Treatment With A Healthy Lifestyle
The symptoms of PTSD can be hard on your body so its important to take care of yourself and develop some healthy lifestyle habits.
Take time to relax. Relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, massage, or yoga can activate the bodys relaxation response and ease symptoms of PTSD.
Avoid alcohol and drugs. When youre struggling with difficult emotions and traumatic memories, you may be tempted to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs. But substance use worsens many symptoms of PTSD, interferes with treatment, and can add to problems in your relationships.
Eata healthy diet. Start your day right with breakfast, and keep your energy up and your mind clear with balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day. Omega-3s play a vital role in emotional health so incorporate foods such as fatty fish, flaxseed, and walnuts into your diet. Limit processed food, fried food, refined starches, and sugars, which can exacerbate mood swings and cause fluctuations in your energy.
Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can trigger anger, irritability, and moodiness. Aim for somewhere between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Develop a relaxing bedtime ritual and make your bedroom as quiet, dark, and soothing as possible.
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Eye Movement Desensitization And Reprocessing
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is a therapy that uses repetitive eye movements to interrupt and re-pattern some of the trauma-related memories you have.
After talking about your history, you and your therapist will select a memory that you find particularly difficult.
While you bring the details of that memory to mind, your therapist will guide you through a series of side-to-side eye movements. As you learn to process the memory and related feelings it brings up, youll gradually be able to reframe that memory in a more positive light.
A 2018 review of research found that when provided by an experienced therapist, EMDR can help reduce many symptoms of PTSD, including anxiety, depression, fatigue, and paranoid thought patterns.
Its a low-cost therapy, has few if any side effects, and is recommended by the World Health Organization for treatment of PTSD.
Getting Professional Help For Ptsd
If you suspect that you or a loved one has post-traumatic stress disorder, its important to seek help right away. The sooner PTSD is treated, the easier it is to overcome. If youre reluctant to seek help, keep in mind that PTSD is not a sign of weakness, and the only way to overcome it is to confront what happened to you and learn to accept it as a part of your past. This process is much easier with the guidance and support of an experienced therapist or doctor.
Its only natural to want to avoid painful memories and feelings. But if you try to numb yourself and push your memories away, PTSD will only get worse. You cant escape your emotions completelythey emerge under stress or whenever you let down your guardand trying to do so is exhausting. The avoidance will ultimately harm your relationships, your ability to function, and the quality of your life.
Why you should seek help for PTSD
Early treatment is better. Symptoms of PTSD may get worse. Dealing with them now might help stop them from getting worse in the future. Finding out more about what treatments work, where to look for help, and what kind of questions to ask can make it easier to get help and lead to better outcomes.
PTSD symptoms can change family life. PTSD symptoms can get in the way of your family life. You may find that you pull away from loved ones, are not able to get along with people, or that you are angry or even violent. Getting help for your PTSD can help improve your family life.
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