Late Breaking News
Depression Concurrent in Half of PTSD Patients
- Categorized in: July 2013
CLEVELAND - An analysis of 57 peer-reviewed studies representing data on more than 6,600 civilians and servicemembers indicates that about half of those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also suffer symptoms of depression.
The analysis from Case Western Reserve University’s Department of Psychological Sciences also concludes that, while women report more symptoms of depression than men, both genders diagnosed with PTSD equally suffer from depression.1
“When outliers were removed, military samples and interpersonal traumas demonstrated higher rates of [major depressive disorder (MDD)] among individuals with PTSD than civilian samples and natural disasters, respectively,” the authors write. “U.S. nationality, gender, and referral type did not significantly account for differences in co-occurrence rates.”
Before the study, estimates for individuals experiencing concurrent major depression disorder (MDD) and PTSD ranged from 20 to 80%. This research, the first comprehensive analysis of peer-reviewed literature on PTSD and MDD, puts that percentage at 52%.
“If individuals do not get a comprehensive assessment of what’s bothering them, one or the other can be missed,” said lead investigator Nina Rytwinski, a Case Western Reserve research associate. “This high co-occurrence rate accentuates the importance of routinely assessing for both disorders.”
Based on the findings, Rytwinski noted that healthcare providers tend to identify depression more frequently in women, while men can exhibit symptoms of depression that are misattributed to PTSD, adding, “The biases against men with PTSD symptoms put them at risk for under-diagnosis and under-treatment of a major depressive disorder.”
Study authors conclude, “this high co-occurrence rate accentuates the importance of routinely assessing MDD among individuals with PTSD and continuing research into the association between these disorders.”
- Nina K. Rytwinski NK, Scur, MD, Feeny, NC, Youngstrom, EA. The Co-Occurrence of Major Depressive Disorder Among Individuals With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 2013; DOI: 10.100 2/jts.21814