When PTSD and Depression Mix - Combatting Two Demons

The combination of two mental health conditions occurring simultaneously is known as dual diagnosis. PTSD and depression disorders are commonly occurring dual diagnoses and should be treated in combination to address issues and symptoms of both conditions. This is because symptoms of each condition can make the other’s worsen, especially over time. And, that combining treatment can allow individuals to develop necessary coping skills required to overcome the challenges of both issues, allowing for the best chance of treatment success and lifelong mental health wellbeing.

Identifying PTSD in Your Life

Think you or a loved one may be living with PTSD? PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a mental illness that is characterized by debilitating symptoms following an experience or experiences of trauma. These debilitating symptoms can include:

Changes in Mood: When a person experiences trauma and develops PTSD as a result, mood swings can occur. Those living with PTSD can experience fits of rage, feelings of hopelessness, and even suicidal thoughts. Thinking negatively and being unable to remain positive after dealing with trauma can sometimes help to identify PTSD.

Avoidance Behaviors: People living with PTSD will attempt to control unwanted thoughts and triggers of these thoughts. They do so by avoiding anything they think may trigger these symptoms, including friends, family, places, events, and even activities or passions they’ve previously enjoyed.

New Behaviors: After experiencing trauma, individuals may experience differences in behaviors. These can include self-harming behaviors including substance use. And, irrational reactions can include being fearful in situations in which it’s not called for and being easily frightened.

Intrusive Thoughts and Flashbacks: Commonly, people living with PTSD experience unwanted symptoms of intrusive memories relating to traumatic events they’ve experienced. This can include nightmares, flashbacks, and trouble with halting thoughts about experienced trauma.

While everyone who has PTSD has experienced trauma, not every person who experiences trauma will develop PTSD. For someone to be diagnosed with PTSD, one must experience symptoms listed above on a debilitating level; meaning these symptoms must disturb one’s lifestyle, relationships, livelihood, etc.

Identifying Depression in Your Life

Clinical depression is a commonly diagnosed mental health illness. According to studies, almost 5% of adults experience clinical depression during their lifetimes. Being diagnosed with clinical depression is more than just feeling sad from time to time. Individuals living with this debilitating condition experience life-altering symptoms that keep them from enjoying their daily routines, relationships, and previously enjoyed activities.

Some of the symptoms of clinical depression can include feelings of:

  • hopelessness
  • despair
  • unrelenting sadness
  • irritability
  • exhaustion

Other symptoms of clinical depression may include:

  • mood swings
  • unhealthy sleep patterns
  • unhealthy eating patterns
  • challenges with focusing
  • thoughts of death and suicide

Dealing with Both PTSD and Clinical Depression

Living with both depression and PTSD is not necessarily rare. So, if you think you are dealing with both of these mental health issues, you’re not alone. And, treatment is available and successful in helping people gain healing and identify methods of managing symptoms.

Depression can be a result of living with PTSD. Furthermore, experiencing trauma and developing PTSD can make a person predisposed to symptoms of depression feel even worse. Whichever issue comes first, it’s important to address both of these mental health issues concurrently in order to gain a true understanding of how each condition plays a part in the other.

Delray Center for Healing offers dual diagnosis approaches to treatments of mental health issues. This includes the dual diagnosis of PTSD and clinical depression. To learn more about our outpatient approach to treatment and therapy services, please visit our website. Have questions about our care or beginning with treatment? We’re happy to assist you and speak with you confidentially when you call us at 888-699-5679.