Depression and PTSD: PTSD Monthly Update - March 2016

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PTSD Monthly Update

In This Issue

Feature Topic

For Providers

Research at the Center

PTSD in the News

March 2016 Issue


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Feature Topic

Depression and PTSD

Sad woman staring out a window

Depression is common among those who have PTSD. People with PTSD are 3 to 5 times more likely to have depression in those without PTSD.

Telling the difference between depression and PTSD can be difficult because many symptoms of depression overlap with the symptoms of PTSD.

For example, with both PTSD and depression, you may not feel pleasure or interest in things you used to enjoy. Both can also lead to feeling emotionally numb and detached, which can cause you to avoid other people. Find out more about depression and other common reactions after trauma.

Getting Help

There are many treatment options for PTSD. Treatment for PTSD can also improve your mood. You should be assessed by a healthcare professional who can decide whether you may benefit from additional treatment for depression.

One type of treatment for depression is Behavioral Activation. This treatment was developed in the 1970s for depressed mood and is safe and effective. It introduces new activities into your life, which are based on important values and personal goals, that helps create an increased sense of happiness and satisfaction.

Introducing Mood Coach

Mood Coach App

Mood Coach is an app for you to learn and practice Behavioral Activation. This app is designed to help you boost your mood by doing positive activities. You can make a plan with positive activities, rate and customize your activities, and track your progress.

This app provides:

  • Scheduling of positive activities for your selected values
  • An activity log for tracking your progress
  • A daily mood rating tool
  • Education about depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and Behavioral Activation
  • The PHQ-9 assessment for tracking symptoms of depression
Mood Coach icon

Mood Coach can be used on its own by those who would like mood management tools, or to augment face-to-face care with a healthcare professional. It is not intended to replace therapy for those who need it.

Now available on iTunes (iOS). Coming soon for Android devices.

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For Providers

PTSD Lecture Series

3/16 at 2 pm ET - Rodney D. Vanderploeg, PhD, ABPP-CN on Treatment of Comorbid TBI and PTSD: What Have We Learned From Recent Studies?

We offer free continuing education credits for our monthly lecture series:

  • Non-VA Providers: Get more information and register at the TRAIN website.
  • VA Providers: Register at TMS.

Mark your calendar for the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 2 pm ET/1 pm CT/11 am PT.

Sign up for PTSD Updates to receive monthly emails that include a registration link and instructions for joining the live lectures.

Consult with PTSD Experts

The PTSD Consultation Program offers free PTSD consultation to any provider who treats Veterans in any setting. This program is now open to Community Providers.

PTSD Consultation Program

Have a question about PTSD? Contact us:
Call 866-948-7880 or

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Research at the Center

New Approach for Depression Treatment

Researchers are studying the effects of adding the immunosuppressant rapamycin to the fast acting antidepressant ketamine. If the combination of medications yields positive outcomes, this three-year study may lead to a new treatment for depression.

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PTSD in the News

Special Report: What Might Have Saved These Veterans?. Dr. Sonya Norman, Director of the National Center for PTSD’s PTSD Consultation Program, contributed to a story posted February 5, 2016 on The San Diego Union-Tribune’s website about Veterans under age 45 who died by suicide in San Diego County in 2014 and 2015. Read more.*

Be sure to forward this update to others so they can subscribe. We send one update per month to keep you informed of the latest PTSD developments.

Thank you,

The Staff of VA’s National Center for PTSD

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Produced by VA’s National Center for PTSD - Executive Division
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*Links will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs website to a non government site.
VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of these linked websites.