Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Depression symptoms, emotional support impact PTSD treatment progress, study finds

Date:
January 23, 2014
Source:
Case Western Reserve University
Summary:
Researchers found that during PTSD treatments, rapid improvements in depression symptoms are associated with better outcomes.

Many individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also experience depression. Researchers at Case Western Reserve University found that during PTSD treatments, rapid improvements in depression symptoms are associated with better outcomes.

Related Articles


Often while undergoing treatment, those suffering PTSD typically count on family and friends to help them through it. But advising individuals with PTSD to "toughen up" or "just get over it" can actually negatively impact these individuals and lead to a transient increase in depression, according to a new Case Western Reserve University psychology study.

The findings are reported in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology online article, "Depression Sudden Gains and Transient Depression Spikes During Treatment for PTSD." This is one of the first studies to shed light on how depression symptoms impact progress during PTSD treatment.

Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the study examined 84 PTSD patients treated only with medication, and another 116 involved in 10 therapy sessions designed to help them revisit their trauma and better cope with their fears.

Participants received either an evidence-based psychotherapy (Prolonged Exposure therapy) or an antidepressant (Zoloft), which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat PTSD.

Specifically, this study tracked sudden depression spikes or reductions in depression symptoms during PTSD treatment. Also examined were how social support from family and friends impacted sudden depression changes and how those changes affected the overall treatment outcome.

Negative social support from family or friends (for example, blaming the victim) was associated with experiencing a worsening in depression symptoms for individuals receiving medication or therapy for PTSD, explained Stephanie Keller, a Case Western Reserve doctoral student and the study's lead author.

Participants rated their depression symptoms (such as sadness, loss of interest in daily activities or hobbies, concentration problems, sleep or appetite issues, and suicidal thoughts) before starting each of the 10 treatment sessions, and finally at the end of treatment.

These survey scores allowed researchers to systematically track and analyze any changes in the depression levels.

Researchers found that patients experience ups and downs in depression whether treated only with medication or only therapy. Individuals who had rapid decreases in depression symptoms actually improved more during PTSD treatment than those who had gradual change, Keller said.

However, as transient depression symptoms worsened, it did not negatively impact treatment outcome. Overall, this study suggests that therapists should help PTSD patients to improve the quality of their social relationships, Keller said.

She also said for those patients who do have a temporary increase or worsening in their symptoms, clinicians may want to provide encouragement to stick with therapy and remind patients that a temporary spike in depression does not necessarily mean that they will benefit less from treatment.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Case Western Reserve University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Stephanie M. Keller, Norah C. Feeny, Lori A. Zoellner. Depression Sudden Gains and Transient Depression Spikes During Treatment for PTSD.. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 2013; DOI: 10.1037/a0035286

Cite This Page:

Case Western Reserve University. "Depression symptoms, emotional support impact PTSD treatment progress, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140123154836.htm>.
Case Western Reserve University. (2014, January 23). Depression symptoms, emotional support impact PTSD treatment progress, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140123154836.htm
Case Western Reserve University. "Depression symptoms, emotional support impact PTSD treatment progress, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140123154836.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins