Wondering if CPTSD is the reason for anxiety and depression?

SunsetDawn83

Learning
Could my could be cptsd be the main reason I suffer from anxiety and depression??

I'm already on anti depressants and when I spoke to the doctor she didn't think increasing the dose would help and she mentioned it sounds like a ptsd.
 

Sideways

Moderator
Short answer? Absolutely. It's the reason this place has threads for both depression and anxiety.

I've tried somewhere around 30 odd psychotropic medications over the years, primarily to treat the depressive symptoms I get from my ptsd.

I get anxiety. Frankly, anxiety meds have been far more effective. Once I got an assistance dog (6 years in to figuring my head out!), I've actually found that the psychotherapies I've used over the years are, for the most part, enough to keep my anxiety in check enough that I can function. CBT, DBT, ACT, and yoga (especially the breathing part - I now use guided relaxation each night to keep my breathing skills in mint condition) turned my anxiety around completely.

My depression on the other hand? Completely different story. I've had to accept that I have a dysthymic baseline (my "normal" is "fairly depressed") is because of my ptsd, and is probably with me for life, and that I will have episodes of major depression for life.

Psychotherapy has helped (a lot) with that too. And I use an antidepressant and an atypical antipsychotic which also help. But in the long run? Dealing with the underlying ptsd is my best hope for getting my depressive symptoms under control and keeping them manageable.

I haven't tried TMS (magnets on your head), but have that earmarked to try for serious depressive episodes in the future (the funding/insurance cover for that only recently changed here, and wasn't really an option before that) to see if it helps.

I don't regret trying as many antidepressants as I have. I was hospitalised for a lot of it, and my depression was life-threatening. So, I didn't have much to lose. But when I finally got my diagnosis right (it was Bipolar Type II for the first 5 years), and I switched to a trauma-focused treatment team, it made sense why the standard anti-depressants hadn't really helped.

But like I said, I do still use one to good effect.

While you're still getting your diagnosis right? Try and stay optimistic. Ptsd is, unfortunately, one of the mental illnesses that doesn't have a medication (yet) that fixes it. But the therapies available have come a long long way. And medication can still be used successfully in conjunction with those therapies to help with particular symptoms.

A good example? A lot of people with ptsd suffer debilitating sleep issues (anything from insomnia to night terrors), and that can contribute to an overall depressed mood. There are meds available to help that symptom cluster, and getting better sleep will help improve mood. So, meds for individual symptoms, even though they don't "treat ptsd" per se, can still make a huge difference to your mood.

That's where trauma specialists really come into their own. A good one will be able to help you not just with a diagnosis, but breaking apart your symptom profile, and by treating those symptoms (potentially using medication), help reduce the depression you're currently burdened with.
 
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