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Coping with Trauma-Induced Depression

trauma and depression


According to the National Center for PTSD, about 6 out of 10 males (or 60%) and 5 out of 10 women (or 50%) experience at least one traumatic event. Trauma frequently alters a person's perception of themselves or the world. Trauma-induced thoughts have an impact on how people feel and frequently cause depression.

Trauma can leave deep and lasting wounds; the impact of traumatic events on our psyche can be overwhelming, creating a maelstrom of difficult emotions. When this trauma leads to depression, it's important to have strategies to manage the distressing feelings and thoughts accompanying it. 

In this blog post, I'll discuss how to recognize signs of trauma-induced depression and tips for coping with this emotional challenge, and how depression therapy can help so you can focus on healing.

Interrelation Between Trauma and Depression

Depression occasionally appears to strike suddenly. Stressful incidents can be the reason for depression. Depression frequently results from an inability to cope with traumatic events or losses. Veterans, for instance, may have distressing recollections, and disaster survivors can have painful memories leading to individual trauma. Those who have experienced violence or abuse may feel as though they can no longer trust others. Both Trauma and depression can develop as a result of these kinds of situations.

Symptoms of depression and trauma are similar. For instance, both trauma and depression might make it difficult to focus or sleep. You might not like or be interested in activities that you once did. You might not want to socialize as much. Trauma and depression both have a tendency to make people more irritable. It is absolutely possible to experience trauma and depression simultaneously.

Signs and Symptoms of Trauma-induced Depression

Depression is more prevalent among people with trauma. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), approximately 3.8% of the world population experience depression.  Additionally, those who suffer from depressed mood disorders are more prone to feel more anxiety or stress. The symptoms of trauma-induced depression include:

Signs and Symptoms of Trauma-induced Depression

  • Profound sadness,
  • Persistent crying
  • A sense of loss
  • Empathy and numbness
  • Disillusionment
  • Reduced appetite
  • Sleep issues
  • Recurrent flashbacks and memories
  • Dreams regarding the horrible experience
  • Social isolation

These emotions and experiences following a traumatic event in life are quite natural. However, if they last longer than two weeks, begin to interfere with everyday activities, or intensify to the point of suicidal thoughts, they have developed into signs of more severe depression and should be addressed by a healthcare professional.

Why It's Vital to Seek Treatment for Trauma-Induced Depression?

Trauma can have both direct and indirect effects, including depression. It can be difficult to handle trauma and depression at the same time. However, with trauma treatment, you can have happy, fulfilling lives.

A person's difficulties can prevent him from functioning or feeling well, which is why getting professional help can make a significant impact. According to Mental Health America, a mental health issue affects one in four adults in the U.S. each year. To deal with mental illnesses like trauma and depression, it is important to seek professional help and therapy. Check out this blog on how to find a therapist to know how to connect with the therapist based on your need.

Trauma and depression are distinct conditions, yet they can sometimes be treated similarly. It's critical to get treatment as soon as possible for both illnesses. Physical and emotional health may suffer if a person allows either situation to persist for months or even years, during which time it will almost certainly worsen.

Types of Trauma-Depression Therapy That Can Help

Treatment for trauma is to reduce symptoms, calm emotional outbursts, and get rid of paralyzing avoidance. Depending on the person’s symptoms and the medical professional's preference, the most typical trauma therapy include

Therapeutic Approaches to Trauma Treatment

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT ): With the goal of assisting you in rectifying your unrealistic and harmful ideas, CPT is a highly structured therapeutic strategy that helps you face your dreaded memories and thoughts related to a traumatic experience.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy: It aids in lowering your anxiety and fear. The main way to accomplish this is through actively facing your concerns. Prolonged exposure therapy includes imaginal exposure, direct confrontation of fear, PTSD education, and breathing pattern training.

Trauma-focused CBT: It tends to meet some of the mental and emotional requirements of trauma survivors, primarily children and teenagers. The treatment focuses mostly on specific issues like PTSD in teens.

Psychodynamic Therapy: Through Psychodynamic Therapy, you will better understand how your past has influenced your present behavior and relationship patterns. The purpose is to assist you in recognizing the subconscious motivations behind your actions.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: CBT therapy enables you to identify and take action against the detrimental thought and behavior patterns that are causing your depression. 

Interpersonal Therapy: By better expressing your emotions and resolving conflicts, it aids in improving your connections with others.

Evidence-based Dialectical Behavior Therapy: It supports you in controlling your negative or upsetting thoughts and actions while using therapeutic techniques like emotional control and mindfulness. 

Psychodynamic Therapy: Psychodynamic therapy is designed to help you comprehend and manage your daily life better. It is predicated on the notion that your unconscious experiences from childhood truma become your reality today.

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Coping Strategies for Trauma-Induced Depression

There may be mental trauma and depression both before and after a tragic event. Coping strategies include developing self-compassion, engaging in activities, exercising, and joining support networks help to reduce the symptoms of traumatic depression. Before and after a tragedy or traumatic incident, people may feel a variety of different emotions. Finding constructive coping mechanisms for when these things happen is crucial, though.

Coping Strategies for Trauma-Induced Depression

Say Yes To Therapy

Trauma can have a profound impact on a person's mental and emotional well-being. Depression is one of many conditions that can arise as a result of experiencing a traumatic event. Fortunately, therapy can help individuals process and cope with the aftermath of trauma. 

By working with a trained therapist, those struggling with trauma-induced depression can learn to identify and manage triggers, develop healthy coping strategies, and work towards healing from the past. While the road to recovery may not always be easy, seeking therapy for trauma-induced depression can be a powerful step towards reclaiming one's sense of self and finding peace in the present.

Joining Support Groups or Online Communities

For persons with mental health illnesses to be able to receive support, share their stories, and connect with others who have gone through similar experiences, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America(ADAA) has established online support groups. There is strength in connection, and nobody should go through it alone. 

You and your family can exchange knowledge and experiences because you are free, welcoming, safe, and supportive  in these groups. Additionally, there are a lot of online support groups, like Facebook, which has a lot of communities for persons with traumatic depression. As resources for finding a support group, you can turn to your local hospital or health department, your therapist, or your doctor. 

Joining a support group has three main objectives. First, to help you learn more about yourself, get strategies to calm your anxiety symptoms, and connect with others who share your experience. Secondly, many people discover that the network they create through support groups aids them in coping with day-to-day activities. Lastly, you may count on one another and support each other through trying times if you develop friendships with people who share your experience.

Develop Self-compassion

There is less post-traumatic depression in people with higher self-compassion levels. People with self-compassion recognize their own pain and are compassionate to themselves during these times, which lessens their own experiences of depression after trauma. Consider what you would say to a trusted friend who was going through a challenging or stressful situation. Then, when you find yourself in a scenario of this nature, turn these sympathetic reactions inward.

Engage in mindfulness

As life's stressors and demands increase, it is essential to learn how to take care of your mental health. One excellent way to do this is by engaging in mindfulness practices — simple activities that help us stay focused on the present moment and can profoundly affect our well-being. 

Engage in Activities that Bring Joy and Relaxation

Interests and activities play a significant role in mental health by boosting pleasure and self-worth. Three basic categories of beneficial interests and activities are enjoyable, productive, and generous. Of course, enjoyable activities make us happy. We may only perform these for leisure or happiness.

Final thoughts

People with Trauma frequently struggle with depression. It may be challenging for you to function due to the symptoms of depression, and they may also prevent you from receiving therapy. But always remember that both PTSD and depression can be effectively treated.

Make the first move toward feeling better. If you are suffering from depression after trauma, our skilled therapist at LifeBulb can assist you, whether it be through online therapy or in-person therapy. We work with you to control your symptoms and resume a better life. Our therapist helps you rediscover healthy emotions and conquer both trauma and depression.

Frequently Asked Questions

Therapy for trauma is a process that can assist enhance mental health in general. It has been shown that trauma therapy improves feelings and behaviors and is linked to beneficial changes in mental health. Even while there is no 100% surefire "cure," therapy helps in making healthy behavioral patterns.

Finding the right trauma therapist can be challenging and it takes more research and time. But it is worth the process as improving mental health is inevitable in leading a happy life. While looking for the right therapist consider the following facts.

  • Make sure the therapist you are looking for is licensed. 

  • If you are searching for a therapist, make sure the therapy they provide will cover the health insurance.

  • Don’t hesitate to ask about the experience of the therapist.

  • It is better to know what therapy techniques will be used during the process.

The person who experiences traumatic events like natural disasters, the death of a person, an accident, or abuse may undergo depression.  Sometimes the symptoms of trauma and depression overlap which include substance use, avoiding social connections, and lack of concentration, etc., No person deserves to undergo a hard time, especially trauma and depression at the same. Seeking medical help will be a great choice to lessen the symptoms and gain mental health.

A child who experiences trauma at the early stage of life is more prone to experience depression during adulthood. It not only influences behavior, interpersonal relationships, and coping with unwanted situations or stress but it will also affect the person’s physical health causing blood pressure and diabetes in addition to affecting the mental health. 

Trauma therapy involves the treatments and techniques which help the person cope with the symptoms of trauma and overcome it. Although therapy for a particular person differs according to the need, condition, and level of symptoms, the most common trauma therapy includes

  • Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

  • Prolonged Exposure Therapy

  • Trauma-focused CBT

  • Psychodynamic Therapy

It is always necessary to seek help from a certified therapist and follow the instructions and guidelines while taking treatment for trauma.

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