Girls, Injury, and PTSD

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


Most early information on injury and PTSD came from studies of male Veterans, largely Vietnam Veterans. Women's experiences of injury can also cause 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 a minumum of one traumatic event in their own life. Women are somewhat not as likely to experience injury than men. The most common injury for girls is sexual assault or child sexual abuse. About one in three women will experience a sexual assault within their the child effect life. Rates of sexual assault are higher for girls than men. Women are also more inclined to experience domestic violence or mistreated in childhood, to be neglected, or to have a loved one suddenly die.

What occurs after injury

After an injury, some women begin drinking or using drugs, might feel depressed, or develop PTSD. There are a couple of reasons women might get PTSD more than men:

Girls are somewhat more likely to experience sexual assault.

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

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

Why are some girls at higher risk for PTSD?

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

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

Experienced a very critical or life-threatening trauma

Were assaulted

Were injured during the event

Had a severe reaction at that time 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 guys. Girls are prone to have more trouble feeling emotions, to be jumpy, and to prevent things that remind them of the trauma than guys. Guys are more likely to feel angry and to have trouble controlling their anger then women. Women with PTSD are prone to feel anxious and depressed, while men with PTSD are more prone to possess difficulties with alcohol or drugs. Both men and women who experience PTSD may develop physical health problems.

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

Girls 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 being exposed to combat although men are prone to experience battle. Women in the military are at higher risk for exposure to sexual harassment or sexual assault than guys. Future studies are needed to better comprehend the effects of women's exposure to both fight and sexual assault.