Girls, Injury, and PTSD

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


Most early information on PTSD and injury came from studies of male Veterans, mostly 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 injury can also cause PTSD.

Risk of experiencing trauma

Findings from a sizable PTSD sufferer raising children national mental health study reveal that a bit more than half of all women will experience a minumum of one traumatic event in their own life. Women are somewhat less likely to experience injury than men. The most frequent trauma for girls is child sexual abuse or sexual assault. About one in three girls will experience a sexual assault in their own lifetime. Speeds of sexual assault are higher for women than guys. Girls are also more likely to experience domestic violence or mistreated in youth, to be neglected, or to have a loved one suddenly perish.

What occurs after trauma

After a trauma, some girls develop PTSD, begin drinking or using drugs, or might feel depressed. Women are more than twice as likely to develop PTSD than men (10% for women and 4% for men).

Women are prone to experience sexual assault.

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

Girls might be more inclined to blame themselves for trauma experiences than guys.

Why are some women at higher risk for PTSD?

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

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

Experienced a very serious or life-threatening injury

Were sexually attacked

Were injured during the occasion

Had a severe reaction at that time of the occasion

Experienced other stressful occasions later

Don't have good social support

What PTSD is like for girls

Some PTSD symptoms are somewhat more prevalent in women than men. Girls are prone to prevent things that remind them of the trauma than men, to have more trouble feeling emotions, and to be jumpy. Men are really prone to have trouble controlling their anger then girls and to feel angry. Women with PTSD are prone to feel depressed and apprehensive, while men with PTSD are prone to own problems with alcohol or substances.

There are excellent treatments for PTSD. Yet, not everyone who experiences a trauma seeks treatment. Women might be more likely than men to seek help after a distressing event. At least one study found that women respond to treatment as good as or better than guys. This may be because women are generally more comfortable talking with others than guys about personal things and sharing feelings.

Women in the military

Girls in the military are at high risk for exposure to traumatic events, especially during times of war. An increasing number of women are now being subjected to battle, although men are more prone to experience combat. Women in the military are at higher risk for exposure to sexual harassment or sexual assault than men. Future studies are needed to better understand the effects of women's exposure to sexual assault and both battle.