Can You Have Post Traumatic Stress After Being Depressed?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression often go hand-in-hand and it is no wonder that PTSD can cause depression. In fact, almost half of the people who have been diagnosed with PTSD have also experienced major depressive disorders, and depression is one of the more common reactions people experience following a traumatic experience. But could you experience PTSD from a depressive episode?
Can You Develop PTSD After Being Depressed?
PTSD is a severe anxiety disorder that occurs following a traumatic event. This event could occur directly to you, or even second-hand if a loved one experiences trauma. A single instance of trauma, like an attack or accident, could lead to PTSD, as could long-term abuse. It is in these cases of abuse that depression and PTSD are so closely linked.
What there is not enough data on, and therefore not enough evidence to provide an accurate assessment, is whether a depressive episode itself could be the traumatic trigger that results in PTSD. In most cases, what leads to a relapse of PTSD symptoms is a triggering or traumatic event, as those who have experienced PTSD once are more susceptible to developing it again.
How Does PTSD Affect Depression?
PTSD and depression coincide largely. Of those who have been diagnosed with PTSD, research has found that in 48% – 55% of cases, patients either suffered from depression while experiencing PTSD or after the fact.
Does Having Depression Make You More Susceptible to PTSD?
Those who experience depression or depressive episodes are more likely to experience trauma on a daily basis. Similarly, a history of traumatic or abusive experiences often tends to develop into depressive episodes later on. In both of these cases, the patient becomes more susceptible to PTSD and its symptoms.
On the other hand of the spectrum, there is evidence that suggests that PTSD symptoms are so distressing and all-consuming that they, in turn, lead to the development of depression. In both instances, however, it is very unlikely that the threat of relapsing into depression would cause PTSD or that having depression on its own would result in PTSD. In both cases a traumatic event or abusive history is the prevailing cause for PTSD.
What Other Conditions Increase the Risk of PTSD and Depression?
Evidence has shown that genetics could increase your likelihood of developing both PTSD depression and anxiety. Though genetics could make you predisposed to these conditions, it is important to remember that depression and PTSD can develop in anyone. 6.8% of the population will develop PTSD during their lives, and 7.1% of the population at any given time will be suffering from major depression.
Coping With PTSD and Depression
There are a variety of therapies and coping strategies available. Although having both PTSD and depression can complicate your recovery, it does not mean there aren’t options available to you. In some cases, treating the symptoms of one disorder can help alleviate the symptoms of the other. Always be open to trying out different therapies, as each individual will require a unique approach.