Often, PTSD is accompanied by other mental illnesses, which can have the same negative impact as when the condition is the sole ailment.
The method of diagnosing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has changed recently, when the American Psychiatric Association adjusted the requirements to include exposure (direct or indirect) to a traumatic event or situation in 2013. Many people experience traumatic events, but when symptoms persist over time and despite proper care, it could be PTSD. Some symptoms that may occur include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the traumatic event or situation. When the symptoms interfere with day-to-day life, get worse, or last for months or even years, PTSD is likely the diagnosis. This is where effective treatment plays a crucial role in recovery.
Often, people suffering from PTSD also are affected by related mental health disorders that require treatment, including mood and anxiety disorders, and in some instances, psychosis. In the Comprehensive Psychiatry journal, a study was published in 2015 concerning the relationship between PTSD and comorbid mental illnesses. Researchers proved that even in comorbid cases, the negative effects that PTSD has on health-related quality of life still remain.
In this study, researchers observed 65 adults with a main diagnosis of PTSD. Depression, bipolar, anxiety, and psychosis where among the additional disorders the group suffered from. The researchers monitored a variety of functions in the group, including their abilities to function daily on a mental and physical level, control emotions, and function in social situations.
Researchers concluded from the study that PTSD has the strongest effect on health-related quality of life, even when comorbid mental disorders exist. Because of this, they suggest the improvement of health-related quality of life should be a therapeutic goal when treating PTSD.
In some instances, healthcare professionals will incorporate the use of antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications to help treat PTSD. Work with your healthcare professional to determine what method of treatment is best for you personally while keeping in mind that improving your health-related quality of life is crucial to recovery.