PTSD and depression often co-occur, new study finds

Among those with a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, more than half are also suffering from depression, according to researchers from Case Western Reserve University. Their findings apply to both men and women, refuting the belief that women tend to struggle more with both PTSD and depression.

Researchers analyzed data from about 57 published, peer-reviewed studies on PTSD and major depressive disorder, with a particular focus on individuals who had experienced physical or sexual trauma. Combined, the studies included 6,670 civilians and military personnel.

The study’s lead investigator, Nina Rytwinski, said in a news release:

“If individuals do not get a comprehensive assessment of what’s bothering them, one or the other can be missed. This high co-occurrence rate accentuates the importance of routinely assessing for both disorders.”

The authors also noted the important implications this research has for treating men with PTSD, who are at risk for missed diagnoses. 

The report, “The co-occurrence of posttraumatic stress disorder ad major depressive disorder: A meta-analysis,” appeared in the online issue of The Journal of Traumatic Stress.