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Feeling sad and depressed for weeks or months on end — not just a passing blue mood of a day or two. This feeling is most often accompanied by a sense of hopelessness, a lack of energy (or feeling “weighed down”) and taking little or no pleasure in things that once gave a person joy in the past.
Depression is one of the most commonly occurring diagnoses in people with post-traumatic stress disorder. In fact, researchers have found that among people who have (or have had) a diagnosis of PTSD, approximately 48 percent to 55 percent also experienced current or previous depression. People who have had PTSD at some point in their lives are three to five times as likely as people without PTSD to also have depression.
PTSD and depression may be connected in a number of ways. First, people with depression are more likely to have traumatic experiences than people without depression, which, in turn, may increase the likelihood that PTSD develops. A second possibility is that the symptoms of PTSD can be so distressing and debilitating that they actually cause depression to develop. Some people with PTSD may feel detached or disconnected from friends and family. They may also find little pleasure in activities they once enjoyed. Finally, they may even have difficulty experiencing positive emotions like joy and happiness. It’s easy to see how experiencing these symptoms of PTSD may make someone feel very sad, lonely, and depressed.
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