-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- 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 percent of them also had symptoms of
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that usually stems from a traumatic
event, and its symptoms include avoidance behaviors 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 of suicide.
Previous estimates suggested that anywhere from 20 percent to 80
percent of people with PTSD also had depression.
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
The findings, published online in June in the
Journal of Traumatic Stress, show the need to routinely
assess patients for both depression and PTSD, the study authors
"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 underdiagnosis and undertreatment of a major depressive disorder," Rytwinski said.
The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about
post-traumatic stress disorder.
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