problems and mental illness can occur together in a number of ways:
Medicine used to treat a health problem may lead to a mental
illness, such as depression, or make it worse. For example, depression can be a
side effect of some drugs.
Health problems and mental illness may
have a common cause, such as stress.
Health problems and mental
illness can bring a sense of loss. You may feel that your life isn't the same
as it was before you got sick.
Health problems can change the
quality of your life. You may go through changes at work or at home. For
example, a sickness may cause you to lose your job, which can cause stress.
This added stress could make your PTSD symptoms worse.
health problems can cause physical health problems and vice versa.
When you have a physical illness and a mental illness, it
can be much harder to cope. Being sick can impact every area of your life. It
can change how you think and feel about yourself and your relationships. It may
affect your ability to work and enjoy life.
It's possible that
your mental illness and health problems aren't related. If you have PTSD and
also get sick, this doesn't always mean PTSD is the cause of your
Getting the right treatments for PTSD and other health
conditions is the best thing you can do. Talk with your doctor and your family
about how you can cope with your health problems.
Janowski K (2011). PTSD and physical health. A National Center for PTSD fact sheet. Available online: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/pages/ptsd-physical-health.asp.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.