Girls, Injury, and PTSD

Injury is common in women; five out of ten girls experience a traumatic event. Women have a tendency to experience different traumas than men. While both men and women report precisely the same symptoms of PTSD (hyperarousal, reexperiencing, avoidance, and numbing), some symptoms are more common for girls or men.


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

Hazard of experiencing trauma

Findings from a big national mental health study reveal that a little more than half of all women will experience a minumum of one traumatic event in their own life. Women are marginally not child abuse from PTSD as likely to experience injury than men. The most typical trauma for women is child sexual abuse or sexual assault. About one in three girls will experience a sexual assault in their own lifetime. Rates of sexual assault are higher for girls than guys. Women are also more likely to experience domestic violence or mistreated in childhood, to be neglected, or to have a loved one unexpectedly expire.

What occurs after injury

After a trauma, some women begin drinking or using medications might feel depressed, or develop PTSD. Women are more than two 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 men:

Girls are more than likely to experience sexual assault.

Sexual assault is more inclined to cause PTSD than many other occasions.

Women may be more likely to blame themselves for trauma experiences than men.

Why are some women at higher risk for PTSD?

Not all women who experience a traumatic event develop PTSD. Girls are much 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 sexually assaulted

Were injured during the event

Had a severe reaction at the period of the occasion

Experienced other stressful events later

Don't have good social support

What PTSD is like for women

Some PTSD symptoms are more prevalent in women than men. Girls are prone to have more trouble feeling emotions, to be jumpy, and to avoid things that remind them of the injury than men. Guys are more than likely to feel angry and to have trouble controlling their anger then women. Girls with PTSD are more prone to feel depressed and apprehensive, while men with PTSD are more prone to possess difficulties with substances or alcohol. Both girls and men who experience PTSD may develop physical health concerns.

There are excellent treatments for PTSD. Yet, not everybody who experiences a trauma seeks treatment. Girls might be more likely than men to seek help after a disturbing event. A minumum of one study found that girls react to treatment as good as or better than men. This might be because girls are usually more comfortable sharing feelings and talking about personal matters with others than men.

Girls in the military

Currently, about 15% of all military personnel in Iraq are women. A growing variety of women are now being subjected to battle although men are somewhat more likely to experience combat. Future studies are needed to better understand the effects of women's exposure to both fight and sexual assault.