Women, Injury, and PTSD

Trauma is common in women; five out of ten girls experience a distressing event. Girls often experience different traumas than guys.


Most early information on injury and PTSD came from studies of male Veterans, mainly Vietnam Veterans. Researchers started to analyze the effects of sexual assault and found that women's reactions were similar to male battle Veterans. Women's experiences of injury may also cause PTSD. This finding led to more research on women's exposure to trauma and PTSD.

Danger of experiencing injury

Findings from a sizable national mental health study reveal that a bit more than half of all women will experience at least one traumatic event in their life. Girls are marginally less likely to experience trauma than guys. The most common injury for women is sexual assault or child sexual abuse. About one in three women will experience a sexual assault within their life. Rates of sexual assault are higher for women than men. Girls are also more likely to be neglected or mistreated in youth, to experience domestic violence, or to have a loved one unexpectedly die.

What occurs after trauma

After a trauma, some girls start drinking or using medications, may feel depressed, or develop PTSD.

Girls are prone to experience sexual assault.

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

Girls may be more inclined to blame themselves for trauma experiences than men.

Why are some women at higher risk for PTSD?

Not all girls who experience a traumatic event develop PTSD. Women are somewhat more likely to develop PTSD if they:

Have a past mental health problem (for example depression or anxiety)

Experienced an extremely severe or life-threatening injury

Were assaulted

Were injured during the event

Had a serious reaction at that period of the occasion

Experienced other stressful events later

Don't have good social support

What PTSD is like for girls

Some PTSD symptoms are somewhat more common in girls than men. Women are prone to have more trouble feeling emotions to be jumpy, and to avoid things that remind them of the injury than guys. Guys the child effect are really more likely to feel upset and to have trouble controlling their anger then girls. Girls with PTSD are more likely to feel apprehensive and depressed, while guys with PTSD are prone to possess problems with substances or alcohol.

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

Girls in the military

Although men are more than likely to experience battle, a growing number of women are being exposed to combat.