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Study: Half of PTSD sufferers also suffer from depression

July 1, 2013
by Shannon Brys, Associate Editor
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A recent study by Case Western Reserve University’s Department of Psychological Sciences suggests that about one of every two people diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also suffer symptoms of depression. According to Gregory Jantz, PhD, an internationally renowned eating disorder specialist, these findings are significant in that they allow for a much more specific understanding of co-occurrence of these conditions, and may lead to more effective PTSD and depression treatment in both men and women.

Prior to this new study, it was generally estimated that individuals that suffered from both major depressive disorder and PTSD fell within a range of anywhere from 20 to 80 percent. The fact that PTSD and depression can occur simultaneously draws attention to the vital importance of making sure certain sufferers are assessed properly for both disorders. Without a proper diagnosis, a major disorder may go completely untreated. For example, depression is diagnosed much more frequently in women than in men. Thus, symptoms of depression in men may be misdiagnosed as symptoms related to PTSD. Such misdiagnoses can lead to undertreatment of a major depressive disorder.

  • The Case Western Reserve University study was based on an analysis of 57 peer-review studies.
  • The study concluded that 52 percent of PTSD cases also reported symptoms of depression.
  • The analysis also concluded that both genders diagnosed with PTSD suffer equally with depression.

“This study is significant in that it shows a link between the two conditions in both men and women,” says Jantz, who is also also an author and the founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources, a residential treatment facility in Edmunds, Wash. “Knowledge of the relationship between PTSD and depression will allow us to better diagnose patients and provide the multifaceted treatment they need to facilitate a real recovery.”