Skip to content

Mental Health Center

Font Size

PTSD and Physical Health Problems - Overview

When you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you may have physical symptoms that have no obvious cause. PTSD also may raise your risk of having other medical conditions.1

Having other conditions like depression or anxiety with PTSD also may result in having more physical symptoms.1

Recommended Related to Mental Health

A Conversation With a Columbine Survivor

Marjorie Lindholm is a survivor of the 1999 school shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. Lindholm, who wrote a book titled A Columbine Survivor's Story, spoke with WebMD about her experiences and shares her advice for school shooting survivors and their loved ones.

Read the A Conversation With a Columbine Survivor article > >

Physical health 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.
  • Mental 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 sickness.

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.

For more information, see the topic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: January 09, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    PTSD and Physical Health Problems Topics

    Today on WebMD

    contemplation
    Differences between feeling depressed or feeling blue.
    lunar eclipse
    Signs of mania and depression.
     
    man screaming
    Causes, symptoms, and therapies.
    woman looking into fridge
    When food controls you.
     
    Woman standing in grass field barefoot, wind blowi
    Article
    senior man eating a cake
    Article
     
    Phobias
    Slideshow
    woman reading medicine warnings
    Article
     
    depressed young woman
    Article
    thumbnail_tired_woman_yawning
    Article
     
    veteran
    Article
    overturned shot glass
    Article
     

    WebMD Special Sections