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The Co-Occurrence of PTSD and Other Disorders


Updated June 26, 2011

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PTSD and other disorders often co-occur. In fact, studies have shown that people with PTSD are at very high risk to develop a number of other mental health disorders, including anxiety disorders, depression, borderline personality disorder, substance use disorders, and eating disorders. The co-occurrence of PTSD and another disorder can have a negative impact on the treatment of PTSD and quality of life.

The first step in addressing a co-occurring disorder in PTSD is to identify what other disorder is present. The goal of this article, is to provide an overview of disorders that commonly co-occur with PTSD.

PTSD and Other Anxiety Disorders

PTSD is itself considered an anxiety disorder. However, there are other anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and specific phobia. People with PTSD have been found to be at high risk for developing other anxiety disorders. This article provides an overview of the different anxiety disorders that often occur among people with PTSD.

PTSD and Depression

Everyone feels sad from time to time. Depression is different from just feeling unhappy or sad. Depression is more intense, lasts longer, and has a large negative impact on a person's life. Depression is one of the most commonly occurring disorders in PTSD. Learn more about the connection between PTSD and depression in this article.

PTSD and Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are characterized by severe problems in eating behaviors. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, recognizes two eating disorders: anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. People with eating disorders often report a history of trauma, and therefore, it is not surprising that PTSD and eating disorders often co-occur. This article describes the eating disorders and how PTSD is related to different eating disorders.

PTSD and Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder is quite common among people with PTSD. Likewise, people with borderline personality disorder often also have a diagnosis of PTSD. Learn about borderline personality disorder, the co-occurrence of PTSD and BPD, and the consequences of this co-occurrence here.

PTSD and Substance Use Disorders

Numerous studies have found that individuals with PTSD are at greater risk for developing substance use problems. Rates of alcohol and drug use among people with PTSD are reviewed, along with reasons why people with PTSD may be at greater risk for these problems.

PTSD and Psychosis

People with PTSD sometimes experience symptoms of psychosis, such as hearing voices or seeing things that are not really there (hallucinations). Learn more about the different types of psychotic symptoms commonly experienced among people with PTSD.

PTSD and Dissociative Disorders

People who have experienced a traumatic event or have PTSD are more likely to also have a dissociative disorders. Learn more about the dissociative disorders and their relationship with trauma and PTSD.

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