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Anxiety and Stress Disorders

PTSD or Depression

02/19/2007

Question:

Hi, sometimes I think about things and start crying for no reasons. Also I am scared to be left at home alone a lot of things have happened to me in my life so I think I may be depressed. Can things from the past still make you depressed and sad?

Answer:

This question has been forwarded by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder:

Things from the past can certainly make you depressed and sad.  Sometimes, when events in the past have been quite traumatic, and memories of these events cause emotional and physical symptoms, you might have what is called PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).  At other times, depression can be the cause of crying, fear and sadness.  There are weblinks to this question that will lead you to some good information about depression and PTSD.  If, as you read this over, you think this applies to you, then it is important that you make an appointment with your health care provider.  A good place to start is with your primary care doctor, like a family doctor.  That person can talk with you, make sure there aren't any other illness or medical problems going on and get your started on treatment.  You will likely need a mental health professional, too, like a therapist, counselor or psychologist to talk to.  This person will work with you to help you find better ways to deal with the sadness and fears that you are feeling.  Often people will need both medication and counseling to get better, but the good news is that both depression and PTSD are treatable problems.  People who suffer from these illnesses can and do get better!!

Good Luck.

Related Resources:

Depression screening test
National Center for PTSD
NIMH PTSD

For more information:

Go to the Anxiety and Stress Disorders health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Nancy   Elder, MD Nancy Elder, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati