One symptom of PTSD is depression: on-going sadness, hopelessness and withdrawal.  Depression robs you of joy and zaps your energy, and can make life a chore.  Unfortunately, many people are reluctant to get treatment to help their depression because of the stigma attached, but you must remember, depression is not uncommon – it affects almost all of us at one time or another.

Depression is caused by the chemicals in your brain (neurotransmitters) being out of balance.  It is often attributed to a genetic tendency, or stressful life events such as death, long-term illness, or relationship problems.

Signs of depression include:

  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Loss of interest in participating in the activities that ordinarily you would take pleasure in doing
  • Loosing or gaining weight
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Restlessness or sluggishness
  • Exhaustion
  • Feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem
  • Difficulty focusing, memory problems, high anxiety

Depression is indicated when symptoms last for two weeks or longer.

What helps?

  • Taking good care of yourself. Eat healthy foods, get enough sleep and exercise
  • Try to be realistic. Set goals you can meet and don’t take on more than you can handle
  • Don’t blame yourself or others for your depression
  • Don’t make major life decisions when you’re depressed
  • Get support and treatment
  • Try to stay involved in social activities
  • Focus on what is good in your life
  • Avoid alcohol and substance abuse

Don’t be afraid to get help.  Counseling, psychotherapy, and/or antidepressant medications may help.  Don’t give up; if one treatment doesn’t work, try another.  You deserve joy and happiness in your life!



  1. Pingback: LIVING WITH DEPRESSION – Healing Veterans one step at a time

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