Women, Trauma, and PTSD

Trauma is common in women; five out of ten women experience a traumatic event. Women often experience different injuries than guys. While both men and women report the same symptoms of PTSD (hyperarousal, reexperiencing, avoidance, and numbing), some symptoms are somewhat more normal for girls or men.


Most early info on PTSD and trauma came from studies of male Veterans, mainly Vietnam Veterans. Researchers started to examine the effects of sexual assault and found that women's reactions were similar to male combat Veterans. Women's experiences of trauma may also cause PTSD.

Danger of experiencing trauma

Findings from a large national mental health study reveal that a little more than half of all women will experience at least one traumatic event in their life. Girls are slightly not as likely to experience injury than men. The most frequent injury for women is sexual assault or child sexual abuse. About one in three women will experience a sexual assault in their own life. Speeds of sexual assault are higher for girls than men. Women are also more prone to be neglected or abused in youth, to experience domestic violence, or to have a loved one unexpectedly die.

What happens after injury

After a trauma, some women start drinking or using medications might feel depressed, or develop PTSD. There are a couple of reasons women might get PTSD more than guys:

Girls are more prone to experience sexual assault.

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

Girls 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. Women are more prone to develop PTSD if they:

Have a past mental health issue (for example depression or stress)

Experienced a very severe or life-threatening injury

Were sexually attacked

Were injured during the occasion

Had a serious response at the period of the event

Experienced other stressful events later

Do not have good social support

What PTSD is like for women

Some PTSD symptoms are somewhat more prevalent in girls than guys. Women are more likely to prevent things that remind them of the trauma than men, to have more trouble feeling emotions, and to be jumpy. Guys are really somewhat more likely to feel upset and to have trouble controlling their anger then girls. Women with PTSD are more likely to feel anxious and depressed, while men with PTSD are more likely to possess issues with alcohol or drugs.

There are excellent treatments for PTSD. Women may be more likely than men to seek help after a disturbing event. At least one study found that women respond to treatment as well as or better than men. This may be because women are generally more comfortable discussing personal things with others than guys and sharing feelings.

Women in PTSD child abuse the military

Girls in the military are at high risk for exposure to traumatic events, especially during times of war. Presently, about 15% of all military personnel in Iraq are girls. An increasing variety of girls are now being exposed to fight, although men are prone to experience battle. Women in the military are at higher danger of exposure to sexual harassment or sexual assault than guys.