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Veteran Depression Effect on PTSD Treatment | U.S. PATRIOT NEWS & REVIEWS

Veteran Depression Effect on PTSD Treatment

It’s clear that PTSD, as a war injury, has finally gained acceptance by the US Government as a treatable condition. Many in the World War 2, Korea and Vietnam generations suffering from such a brain injury were largely written off with “shell-shock”, given a pittance, and promptly forgotten about. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way as a nation, especially as psychiatric science progresses.

PTSDPTSD and Depression
It is very common for veterans suffering from PTSD to also exhibit symptoms of depression as well. It has been speculated that the symptoms of depression and the treatment of those symptoms can also affect the outcome of the PTSD treatment. In attempts to find a correlation between symptoms and treatment of depression and PTSD, the National Institute of Mental Health funded a study performed on a number of PTSD patients that were giving only the FDA approved antidepressant drug Zoloft and PTSD patients who received therapy sessions geared toward helping them deal with the initial trauma and how to handle the aftermath.

Social support, both positive and negative, from family and friends was also taken into account for this study. The main purpose was to keep track of sudden increases and decreases in depression symptoms as well the factors that led to these changes and how they affected the resulting outcome in PTSD treatment. At the beginning of the study, the patients were asked to rate their depression symptoms such as loss of interest in hobbies and daily activity, problems concentrating, sleeping difficulties, appetite increase or decrease, sadness and suicidal thoughts, and then rate them again at the conclusion of the study to aid in analyzing the outcome of the treatment. Those patients receiving the therapy sessions were asked to fill out an evaluation of these symptoms levels before each individual session as well.

[quote_right]”Those who had a positive support system… had a greater, more rapid reduction in depression symptoms and a more successful outcome in their PTSD treatment.”[/quote_right]The Importance of Social Support and PTSD
It was found, as would be suspected, in regards to social support, that those who had a positive support system that provided positive reinforcement and encouraged patients to talk about and confront issues that were causing worry had a greater, more rapid reduction in depression symptoms and a more successful outcome in their PTSD treatment. Those having a negative social support system where they received blame or negative feedback when discussing issues often showed greater spikes in depression symptoms and a more difficult time overcoming their PTSD.

It was also found that both test groups (medication recipients and those receiving therapy) had fluctuations in the amount and severity of depressions symptoms. However, those who had a more rapid decrease in symptoms of depression seemed to fair better than those whose depression symptoms gradually decreased in the overall improvement in regards to PTSD. An increase in depression symptoms that proved to be transient or fleeting did not seem to have a negative effect on the overall treatment of the patients.

This study brought to light the importance of fostering and increasing the amount of positive social relationships PTSD patients had even when the symptoms of depression would make patients hesitant and less likely to pursue these relationships. It is an important part of the recovery process to push through these symptoms to allow the benefits of supportive relationships to have a greater positive effect on the overall treatment outcome. It was also shown that patients should continue with therapy even when they felt they were not making progress because of a temporary increase or worsening in depression symptoms as this was not an indication that the therapy treatment was not beneficial or working as intended.

For more information, you can find complete PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury resources at Warrior Lodge, the Ultimate Military Resource Online.

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Wes O'Donnell

Founder at Warrior Lodge
Wes O'Donnell is the founder of WarriorLodge.com and the author of "RISE: The Veteran's Field Manual for Starting Your Own Business and Conquering the Online Economy." Available at Amazon here: http://tinyurl.com/kpsvx4g.He is also the CEO of MD-Advantages Healthcare and founder of ModernWorkpsace.net. Wes was in both the US Army Infantry and the US Air Force as a RADAR Maintainer for the E-3 Sentry AWACS.
Wes O'Donnell
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4 thoughts on “Veteran Depression Effect on PTSD Treatment

  1. Thanks -this is great information and a site that is needed for years to come, I served in Viet Nam- with the First Infantry( as a 11B Infantry twice) and this war- But I have more PTSD from Viet Nam everyday and this information and site is a help to me and will be to others, I pray anyone that reads this will feel good about sharing it with others. We are all human and suffer from trauma and pain in this life-and we need each others input and experience to fight this battle. Gods Many Blessings. John

  2. Thanks for your service John! I was 11B as well, 2/327th Infantry out of Fort Campbell. PTSD as a recognized condition has come a long way since the days of “shell-shock”. Now, our vets have a ton of resources available to help them. We’re always open to suggestions for improvement at Warrior Lodge http://warriorlodge.com to better help fellow veterans, so let us know if there’s something we missed. And of course, thanks to US Patriot Tactical for letting us hang out on their site. Rangers Lead The Way!

  3. Thanks Wes and to you as well. As you know there is allot to examine within the world of PTSD and the many affects that most folks don’t know or address as a need. Many young soldiers I talk to feel people think they have a ” mental disorder” and they don’t-so the stigma is alive and well ( I’m sorry to say) But we-as you are have to help educate the public and the Leadership of the Military the last effects of trauma. God made us human with feelings-not-robots. Thanks my friend. John

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