Women and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Women and PTSD

This week, let’s discuss women and PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder).  Studies show that women are twice as likely as men to suffer from PTSD. We are going to dig into to the reasons why.

What is PTSD?

So, what is PTSD? Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in anyone who has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event.

These events can include serious accidents, natural disasters or terrorist attacks. They can also include war or combat, rape or the threat of death, sexual violence or serious injury.

women and ptsd

How does PTSD affect women differently?

Women may experience this disorder differently from men. As an example, women can be more likely to experience other mental health conditions along with PTSD. Depression and anxiety are two of the most common of these conditions.

Women can also experience something known as “avoidance” as a symptom of this affliction. Sounds, objects, and places that are reminiscent of the traumatic event can cause people to experience avoidance. They may begin avoiding anything – including thoughts and feelings – that remind them of the event.

PTSD Statistics in the United States

In the U.S., almost 8% of the population will experience PTSD at some point. But about 1 in every 10 women will have the disorder compared with 1 in 25 men, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

And though most people who experience trauma do not develop PTSD, women are about twice as likely to develop it as men.

What are some symptoms of PTSD?

Two symptoms are reactivity and arousal. These are often constant for those that suffer. They can make it challenging to complete daily tasks, like concentrating, sleeping, or relaxing.

Examples of reactivity and arousal symptoms include:

  • Startling easily
  • Feelings of tension, anxiety and being “on edge”
  • Problems sleeping
  • Having angry outbursts

military ptsd

Women in the Military and PTSD

A 2015 study from the Journal of Anxiety Disorders involving PTSD symptoms in active military duty personnel found that women expressed more distress than men across almost all signs of the study’s post-traumatic stress disorder checklist, except hypervigilance. Overall, women scored higher on:

  • Reexperiencing the traumatic event
  • Avoidance
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Hyperarousal and Reactivity

So what if you or a loved one is suffering from PTSD?

Our therapists at Waters Edge Counseling have a great deal of experience dealing with clients and PTSD. Whether it is a military situation or sexual assault or any other number of events, our counselors can help you cope and overcome many of your symptoms.

Please give us a call at 912.319.5552 or email us if you’d like more information or to make an appointment. Waters Edge is here to help.