Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Can A Traumatic Event Cause Depression

How Stress Can Cause Of Depression

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – causes, symptoms, treatment & pathology

If you feel like you may be depressed but haven’t gone through a major life change like one of those described above, you may still have depression.

As mentioned above, one of the symptoms of depression is feelings of hopelessness, but that doesn’t mean that depression has to come first. If you are working hard every day but don’t see any sign of a promotion or raise in your future, you may feel hopeless. If you are trying to pay down your debts, but they only seem to be going up, you may feel hopeless. When you try to wrap your head around a new lesson or problem, but you just can’t crack it, you may feel hopeless.

If this goes on for long enough, your feelings of hopelessness can cause depression instead of depression, causing feelings of hopelessness.

Where To Get Help

  • Your doctor
  • Mental health specialist, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist or social worker, with experience in treatment of PTSD
  • Community health centre
  • Australian Guidelines for the Treatment of Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, 2013, Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health. More information here.

How Can Parents Help

If your child has been through trauma, here are things you can do:

  • Help your child feel safe. They may need extra time, comfort, and care from you for a while.
  • Help your child relax. Invite them to take a few slow breaths with you. Breathe in while you count to 3. Breathe out while you count to 5.
  • Do things together that you enjoy. Trauma can make it harder to feel the positive emotions that naturally help kids recharge. Play, laugh, enjoy nature, make music or art, cook. These activities can reduce stress and build your childs resilience.
  • Reassure your child. Let them know they will get through this. And that you are there to help.
  • Let your childs doctor know what your child has been through. Get a referral to a mental health professional .
  • Tell your childs teacher that your child went through a trauma. Kids with PTSD may have more trouble focusing on schoolwork. Ask for your child to have extra help or more time to do schoolwork if they need it for a while.

Read Also: Can You Overcome Depression Without Medication

Trauma And Memory Loss

Memory loss is a frustrating and sometimes scary experience, especially if the memory loss is caused by a traumatic event. Research shows that there is a definite relationship between occurrences of emotional, psychological or physical trauma and memory. Some of this memory loss may be a temporary way to help you cope with the trauma, and some of it may be permanent due to a severe brain injury or disturbing psychological trauma. Knowing how trauma can affect your memory can guide you in choosing an appropriate treatment to help you cope with trauma and heal your memory problems.

Compensation For Noneconomic Damages

Researchers Found Stress Harmones Might Resist Disorders ...

The term “noneconomic damages” refers to intangible harms inflicted upon a person. Pain, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life caused by someone else’s negligence can all be reasons for which a victim can be compensated. There are, however, caps on how much compensation can be awarded for noneconomic damages. A personality disorder may be able to be considered a physical disorder, which could warrant greater compensation than noneconomic damages would. To find out specifics regarding your case, it would be best to speak with an attorney. A personality disorder can significantly alter the course of life. Don’t let a negligent party get away with their actions.

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Changes To Your Role In Life

Even life changes that youve expected and planned for can be harder to adjust to than you expect. Changes in role, like becoming a parent or retiring, usually affect important areas of your life, such as:

  • where you live
  • peoples expectations of you
  • your beliefs
  • who you have around to support you.

The difficulty, challenges and conflict that come along with these life changes can contribute to depression and anxiety.

Keep in mind that a major change for one person can affect the whole whnau. For example, having a baby doesnt just involve new roles and responsibilities for the parents. It can also bring about changes for the whole whnau, including brothers and sisters, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. These changes require some adjustment by everyone.

Find out more about some of the most challenging changes we go through below:

Uncovering The Link Between Trauma And Depression

More than 17 million adults in the United States suffered a major depressive episode in 2017, making depression one of the more common mental health problems to face our population. As mentioned above, there are many roads that lead to depression and our goal here is to highlight the role that childhood trauma can play.

While there are no parameters as to what constitutes a childhood trauma as everyone processes events differently, a few events seem to rise above others in terms of prevalence.

The most common drivers of childhood trauma include:

  • Physical abuse
  • An accident
  • Death

Again, this list is by no means comprehensive, but it gives you an idea of the types of situations that can be very traumatic for a child.

More often than not, children are unsure how to process a traumatic event and often dont have the resources needed to do so effectively. As a result, children tend to develop their own coping mechanisms, which can range from isolation to rage.

As children enter adulthood, these unresolved issues can continue to manifest in myriad ways, depression included.

The Psychiatric Times reported on a key study that points to the link between childhood trauma and adult depression. In the study, researchers found that 62.5% of participants with major depressive disorder reported more than two traumatic events from their childhoods. In the control group , the incidence of childhood trauma was only 28.4%.

Read Also: Lack Of Sleep Causes Depression

How Can I Support Someone Who Has Experienced A Traumatic Event

The following things can help to support someone who has been through something traumatic:

  • Be there – Offer to spend time with them. If they dont want to see you, it can help to let them know that you will still be there if they change their mind. While you should avoid nagging them, it may be helpful to nudge them to accept your support.
  • Listen Try not to pressure them into sharing if they dont want to. If they do want to talk, try to listen and not interrupt or share your own experiences.
  • Ask general questions If you do ask questions, try to make them general and non-judgemental. For example, you might want to ask have you spoken to anyone else about this? or can I help you to find some extra support?
  • Offer practical help – They may find it more of a struggle to look after themselves and keep to a daily routine. Offer some help, such as cleaning or preparing a meal.

You should try to avoid:

When To See A Doctor

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder explained (PTSD)- causes, symptoms and treatment

Many people experience symptoms after a traumatic event, such as crying, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating, but this is not necessarily PTSD.

Prompt treatment with a qualified professional can help prevent the symptoms from getting worse.

This should be considered if:

  • symptoms persist for more than a month
  • symptoms are severe enough to prevent the person returning to normal life
  • the person considers harming themselves

Treatment psychotherapy and counseling, medication, or a combination.

Options for psychotherapy will be specially tailored for managing trauma.

They include:

Cognitive processing therapy : Also known as cognitive restructuring, the individual learns how to think about things in a new way. Mental imagery of the traumatic event may help them work through the trauma, to gain control of the fear and distress.

Exposure therapy: Talking repeatedly about the event or confronting the cause of the fear in a safe and controlled environment may help the person feel they have more control over their thoughts and feelings. The effectiveness of this treatment has been questioned, however, and it must be carried out with care, or there may be a risk of worsening of the symptoms.

Read Also: Mild Depression Vs Severe Depression

Trauma Treatment = Effective With Psychosis

Mental health services can provide trauma treatment to people with psychosis vulnerability. In the past it was thought that you had to be very careful when treating trauma with this group of people. The idea was that it could easily trigger another psychosis. But research shows: when you offer a safe environment and have built a trusting relationship, trauma treatment is very possible. Such treatment even contributes to the recovery process.

Transgenerational Trauma: Passed From One Generation To The Next

More difficult to identify are traumas that happened in your family history. These are serious events that didnt take place in your own life, but still have an effect on you through your family members. Think of events during the Second World War your grandparents went through. Scientific research and therapeutic sessions such as psychoanalysis, transactional analysis and family constellations show that a psychosis can also be a response to such collective family trauma, or family secrets, passed on for generations. This is called transgenerational transmission.

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What Is Catatonic Depression

Catatonia comes from two Greek words Kata meaning down and tonas meaning tension. This depression occurs when a person enters the catatonic state . Catatonic depression affects the individuals motor skills. People with catatonia remain still and do not respond to any events/things around them. There are three types of catatonia, namely akinetic catatonia, excited catatonia, and malignant catatonia. Akinetic catatonia is the most commonly observed in people with catatonic depression, whereas malignant catatonia can be dangerous, causing severe health effects.

Ptsd May Contribute To Depression

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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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On Depression As A Disease

As we have seen, depression is not a disease. The physical symptoms are just that, symptoms, and not causes.

Being depressed can feel like a physical disorder because you often feel exhausted, experience pain, have changes in appetite, and so on.

A key to understanding depression lies in looking at how the exhaustion and the physical effects of depression are caused by the link between emotionally arousing thoughts, dreaming and exhaustion.

Information For Carers Friends And Relatives

If you are a carer, friend or relative of someone who hears voices, you can get support.

How can I get support?

You can do the following.

  • Speak to your GP about medication and talking therapies for yourself.
  • Speak to your relatives care team about a carers assessment.
  • Ask for a carers assessment from your local social services.
  • Join a carers service. They are free and available in most areas.
  • Join a carers support group for emotional and practical support. Or set up your own.

What is a carers assessment?

A carers assessment is an assessment of the support that you need so that you can continue in your caring role.

To get a carers assessment you need to contact your local authority.

How do I get support from my peers?

You can get peer support through carer support services or carers groups. You can search for local groups in your area by using a search engine such as Google. Or you can contact the Rethink Mental Illness Advice Service and we will search for you.

How can I support the person I care for?

You can do the following.

  • Read information about PTSD.
  • Ask the person you support to tell you what their symptoms are and if they have any self-management techniques that you could help them with.
  • Encourage them to see a GP if you are worried about their mental health.
  • Ask to see a copy of their care plan, if they have one. They should have a care plan if they are supported by a care coordinator.
  • Help them to manage their finances.

You can find out more about:

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Trauma As A Seed Of Depression

In my practice, people trace depression back to trauma most of the time. Emotional trauma is an overwhelming shock to a persons equilibrium. Trauma might be linked to an emotional, physical, or sexual attack or witnessing such an attack. War, rape, murder, accidents, and even well-intentioned medical procedures might all lead to trauma. So can single or repeated incidents of shaming and other emotional and verbal attacks. Trauma can also happen when heartbreaking losses of any kind occur.

When people are traumatized, it often shapes their beliefs about themselves or life. These trauma-induced beliefssuch as Im never safe, Im unlovable, Im a monster, love is dangerous, Im a failure, Im helplessaffect how people feel and often contribute to depression. Sometimes an individuals belief is based on something that was true at the moment of the trauma: Im helpless is true when a person is in surgery under anesthesia .

The Impact Of Traumatic Events On Mental Health

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Around 1 in 3 adults in England report having experienced at least one traumatic event.

Traumatic events can be defined as experiences that put either a person or someone close to them at risk of serious harm or death. These can include:

  • road accidents
  • serious illnesses.

Read Also: Can Depression Be Cured Permanently

Treatment For Children And Teenagers With Ptsd

For children and teenagers who are struggling to recover after a traumatic event, the recommended treatment is trauma-focussed cognitive behavioural therapy . This treatment involves:

  • learning about the type of traumatic event experienced and common reactions to trauma
  • teaching how to relax and manage anxiety
  • helping to create a coherent story of the traumatic event, and correct any unhelpful beliefs about the event such as self-blame
  • gradual exposure to trauma-related objects or situations that are feared or avoided
  • helping to get back into everyday activities.

What Is Samhsa’s National Helpline

SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.

Also visit the online treatment locator.

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When Should I Get Professional Help

Everyone deals with traumatic experiences differently. Many people will be able to recover after a traumatic event with support from family, friends and their workplace.

Even when you have recovered from a traumatic event, you probably wont forget about it. You might still feel negative emotions about it or find it upsetting to think about from time to time. However, these feelings shouldnt be overwhelming or stop you from enjoying life.

You should ask your GP for help if:

  • your symptoms are very bad and
  • they dont seem to be getting better

If your symptoms are very bad and are having a significant impact on your life after one month, you should speak to your GP.

If your symptoms arent as bad but have been going on for more than three months, you should speak to your GP.

The Connection Between Trauma And Ptsd

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder is different from depression, but its another type of mental health condition that can develop after experiencing trauma. The two conditions share some similar symptoms, such as difficulty sleeping, a lack of interest in daily life, and detachment from other people.

Its normal to experience anxiety and other symptoms after going through a traumatic event, but for many people, those symptoms subside over time. If you continually experience negative thoughts, flashbacks, or other behaviors a month or longer after the incident has passed, it could be PTSD.

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Childhood Trauma: What Role Does It Play In Depression

From The Quarterly, Fall 2012

Childhood trauma, such as sexual or physical abuse, domestic violence, neglect or parental loss, can have long-lasting consequences. Researchers are exploring the effects of early trauma on the stress-response systems that influence vulnerability to later depression. Some recent findings point to biologically distinct subtypes of depressed patients based on whether or not they experienced childhood trauma. It is thought that patients in these subtypes respond differently to different types of treatment.

Stress is a risk factor for depression in general. Within the bodys stress-response system, the stress hormone cortisol acts on the hormone corticotropin releasing factor . When CRF is injected into the brains of research animals, the animals exhibit behaviors that closely parallel symptoms of depression. In clinical studies, depressed patients show heightened levels of CRF. They also show lower than normal levels of oxytocin, the feel-good hormone that promotes bonding and trust. The hippocampus is a region of the brain involved in emotion and memory. A small hippocampus is a well-established sign of chronic stress. In recent studies, small hippocampus volume was observed in depressed women who had experienced childhood trauma, but not in depressed patients without a history of childhood trauma.

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesEmory University

From The Quarterly, Fall 2012

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