Depression May Amplify Anger Among Veterans With PTSD

For U.S. soldiers, the combination of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) increases the risk for anger and harm to others, according to new research from the American Psychological Association.

The findings are based on an analysis of behavioral health data from more than 2,000 soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and had sought behavioral health services. The participants were screened for PTSD and major depressive disorder (MDD) and placed in one of four groups: PTSD; MDD; PTSD and MDD; and neither.  Each group was then asked questions about their levels of anger, and whether they were considering harming others.

About 72 percent of those veterans who screened positive for PTSD, also screened positive for depression.

The study appeared this month in the journal Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy.