PTSD And Depression Comorbidity Increase Risk Of Mortality In Women

PTSD And Depression Comorbidity Increase Risk Of Mortality In Women

POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER and major depression comorbidity is linked to psychobiological changes in women that can lead to chronic disease and death. When these two conditions occur in tandem, a comprehensive approach to treatment must be taken to counteract their dangerous and complex emotional, psychological, and physical impact.

This article discusses:

Increased Mortality In Women With PTSD and Depression

A new study shows that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) comorbidity can lead to physiological changes that cause serious illness and mortality in women.

An estimated 50% of women with PTSD also suffer from MDD. 1 out of every 2 women with this dual diagnosis have an increased risk of mortality.

A study of over 50,000 women were was conducted over 9 years period showed that women who suffer from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression have more than twice as likely to die from complications compared to women who had not experienced trauma or depression.

Furthermore, research suggests that the biological impact of PTSD and MDD comorbidity may represent a subtype of PTSD.

Adverse Childhood Experiences Linked To Inflammation In The Body

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are linked to an increased risk of developing PTSD in adulthood. The psychobiology of ACEs can make some adults predisposed to inflammation in the body, putting them at greater risk for certain health conditions.

PTSD Connected To Metabolic Dysfunction

PTSD is linked to physiological changes associated with metabolic dysfunction connected with the development of various diseases, specifically:

  • Changes in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal–axis
  • Immune system dysfunction
  • Oxidative stress
  • Sleep disturbances, and
  • Premature aging.

Researchers theorize that an increased discharge of cortisol by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in tandem with disruptions in the sympathetic nervous system can lead to irregularities in neurological and metabolic functioning.

Health Conditions Linked To PTSD

Numerous studies have shown that PTSD is linked to a range of adverse health outcomes, including:

  • Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Substance Use Disorders

PTSD and Depression Increase Risk of Suicide

Another health risk for women who experience PTSD and MDD is suicide. A 2009 study from Florida State University showed that women who experience both disorders are at greater risk for suicidal ideation and death by suicide.

Prevention Of Health Risks Associated With PTSD and Depression

It is imperative that women with PTSD and depression implement lifestyle changes to decrease the risk of mortality associated with their condition. Some effective actions include:

  • Regular exercise
  • Weight management
  • Smoking abstinence
  • Companionship


1 out of ever 2 women who suffer from cooccurring PTSD and MDD can experience psychobiological changes that cause 380% increase of death. Adverse childhood experiences can lead to inflammation in the body, which makes some people predisposed to illness and disease later in life. PTSD can cause metabolic dysfunction and systemic changes that lead to serious health conditions. Lifestyle changes are an important part of treatment.


  1. Roberts AL, Kubzansky LD, Chibnik LB, Rimm EB, Koenen KC. Association of Posttraumatic Stress and Depressive Symptoms With Mortality in WomenJAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(12):e2027935. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.27935
  2. Flory JD, Yehuda R. Comorbidity between post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder: alternative explanations and treatment considerations. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2015 Jun;17(2):141-50. doi: 10.31887/DCNS.2015.17.2/jflory. PMID: 26246789; PMCID: PMC4518698
  3. Masodkar K, Johnson J, Peterson MJ. A Review of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Obesity: Exploring the Link. Prim Care Companion CNS Disord. 2016 Jan 7;18(1):10.4088/PCC.15r01848. doi: 10.4088/PCC.15r01848. PMID: 27247845; PMCID: PMC4874765.
  4. Farr OM, Sloan DM, Keane TM, Mantzoros CS. Stress- and PTSD-associated obesity and metabolic dysfunction: a growing problem requiring further research and novel treatments. Metabolism. 2014 Dec;63(12):1463-8. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2014.08.009. Epub 2014 Aug 28. PMID: 25267015; PMCID: PMC4459590.
  5. Brown, P. J., Stout, R. L., & Mueller, T. (1999). Substance use disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder comorbidity: Addiction and psychiatric treatment rates. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 13(2), 115–122.
  6. Cougle JR, Resnick H, Kilpatrick DG. PTSD, depression, and their comorbidity in relation to suicidality: cross-sectional and prospective analyses of a national probability sample of women. Depress Anxiety. 2009;26(12):1151-7. doi: 10.1002/da.20621. PMID: 19842171.

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      FKA Twigs’ Coercive Control Allegations Denied by Shia LaBeouf

      FKA Twigs Coercive Control

      FKA Twigs’ describes her former partner Shia LaBeouf as a “danger to women” in the claim filed by her legal team in December 2020. In it, she accuses him of coercive and controlling behavior, including non-fatal strangulation, sexual assault, and battery, and infecting her with a sexually transmitted disease.

      According to her claim, “LaBeouf kept [Twigs] in a constant state of fear.”

      It is a landmark case since California’s new coercive control legislation came into force on January 1, 2021. Last October, California became the second state in the USA to criminalize coercive control.

      Shia LaBeouf denies all of FKA Twigs allegations

      In their response to the Los Angeles Superior Court, LaBeouf’s lawyers deny “generally and specifically each and every allegation.”

      They argue that LaBeouf did not cause harm to Twigs (real name Tahliah Barnett) and requested that the sexual battery allegations be dismissed because “none of the acts alleged were based on sex and/or the conduct was not sexual.”

      His team also says that LaBeouf’s “alleged conduct was reasonably necessary for his self-defense and/or safety.” His lawyers are also demanding that the case be dropped and for LaBeouf to be compensated for his legal expenses.

      LaBeouf blames alcoholism and PTSD 

      In a previous response to FKA Twigs’ allegations, LaBeouf told the New York Times:

      “Although many of these allegations are not true, I am not in the position to defend any of my actions. I owe these women the opportunity to air their statements publicly and accept accountability for those things I have done. As someone in recovery, I have to face almost daily reminders of things I did say and do when I was drinking. I can’t rewrite history, I can only accept it and work to be better in the future. I write this as a sober member of a twelve-step program and in therapy for my many failings. I am not cured of my PTSD and alcoholism, but I am committed to doing what I need to do to recover, and I will forever be sorry to the people that I may have harmed along the way.”

      The actor is currently enrolled in an in-patient rehabilitation program. 

      Scared, intimidated, controlled

      Barnett met LaBeouf when she co-starred in the 2019 drama Honey Boy, a semi-autobiographical film about his childhood and his complicated relationship with his father.

      She told journalist Louis Theroux that LaBeouf made her feel, “scared and intimidated and controlled.


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