Women, Injury, and PTSD

Injury is common in women; five out of ten girls experience a distressing event. Girls have a tendency to experience injuries that are different than guys.


Most early information on PTSD and trauma came from studies of male Veterans, mainly Vietnam Veterans. Women's experiences of injury may also cause PTSD.

Danger of experiencing injury

Findings from a large national mental health study show that a bit more than half of all women will experience at least one traumatic event in their own life. Women are somewhat less likely to experience injury than guys. The most typical injury for women is sexual assault or child sexual abuse. About one in three girls will experience a sexual assault in their own life. Rates of sexual assault are higher for women than guys. Women are also more likely to be neglected or abused in youth, to experience domestic violence, or to have a loved one unexpectedly die.

What occurs after injury

After a trauma, some girls may feel depressed, begin drinking or using medications, or develop PTSD. Women are more than two do PTSD parents cause their children trauma? times as likely to develop PTSD than men (10% for women and 4% for men). There are a number of reasons women might get PTSD more than guys:

Women are more prone to experience sexual assault.

Sexual assault is more likely to cause PTSD than a number of other occasions.

Women might be more likely to blame themselves for injury experiences than men.

Why are some girls at higher risk for PTSD?

Not all women who experience a traumatic occasion develop PTSD. Girls are more likely to develop PTSD if they:

Have a previous mental health problem (for example depression or stress)

Experienced an extremely severe or life threatening injury

Were assaulted

Were injured during the occasion

Had a serious reaction at the period of the event

Experienced other stressful occasions afterwards

Don't have great social support

What PTSD is like for women

Some PTSD symptoms are somewhat more common in women than guys. Girls are prone to prevent things that remind them of the injury than men, to have more trouble feeling emotions, and to be jumpy. Guys are much more likely to feel angry and to have trouble controlling their anger then girls. Girls with PTSD are prone to feel apprehensive and depressed, while men with PTSD are more likely to possess problems with alcohol or drugs.

Treatment for PTSD

There are excellent treatments for PTSD. Nevertheless, not everybody who experiences a trauma seeks treatment. Girls might be more likely than men to find help after a traumatic event. A minumum of one study found that women react to treatment as well as or better than men. This may be because girls are generally more comfortable sharing feelings and discussing private things with others than men.

Girls in the military

Currently, about 15% of all military personnel in Iraq are girls. A growing variety of women are being exposed to fight although men are more likely to experience combat. Girls in the military are at higher risk for exposure to sexual harassment or sexual assault than men. Future studies are needed to better comprehend the effects of women's exposure to both battle and sexual assault.