PTSD, Trauma & Depression by Tracy Latz, M.D.
Depression is a common problem that can occur following trauma. It involves feelings of sadness or low mood that last more than just a few days. Unlike a blue mood that comes and goes, depression lasts 2 or more weeks. Depression can get in the way of performing activities of daily life, make it hard to function and can cause you to lose your passion for living. It can affect eating and sleeping habits, ability to concentrate, and your confidence or self-esteem.
How commonly does depression follow trauma?
Depression affects almost 1 in 10 adult Americans yearly. Depression is a frequent symptom that occurs following trauma. For instance, a survey of survivors from the Oklahoma City bombing revealed that 23% reported depression after the bombing as compared to 13% of survivors who reported having depression before the bombing. Depression is frequently experienced in people diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
What are the symptoms of depression?
Real depression differs from feeling sad in that with a clinical depression the sad, blue, depressed mood or lack of interest in usual hobbies or interests must last for at least 2 weeks and must be accompanied by at least 3 to 4 of the following: significant weight loss or gain, sleep disturbance (increased or decreased), agitation or decreased motor activity, fatigue or loss of energy, excessive feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt, concentration difficulty, and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.
How are depression and trauma related?
Depression can either “come from out of the blue” or it can be triggered by stressful events such as divorce, loss, or a trauma. Difficulty coping with painful experiences can often lead to intense sadness or depression. Veterans returning from military conflict or a war zone, for instance, may have painful Read More→