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Women and the Agony of PTSD

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD as it is commonly referred to, is a disorder that is developed after someone undergoes a frightening, shocking, or dangerous life experience.  It’s not unnatural to feel a sense of fear during or after a traumatic event.  Fear in a traumatic situation trigger changes in our body to either face danger or avoid; this reaction is known as fight or flight.  Almost everyone will have some type of reaction to a traumatic experience, yet most people will recover naturally over time.  However, those who still suffer aftermath effects from said traumatic experience might become diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.


Women run a higher risk of developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder than men do.  There are many reasons why women are more susceptible to the disease such as:

  • Women are more likely to experience traumatic events such as sexual assault.
  • Sexual assault is more likely to cause PTSD than any other experience.
  • Women are more likely than men to blame themselves for suffering traumatic experiences than men are.

As mentioned earlier, not all victims of traumatic experiences will suffer from PTSD.  However, women who meet any of these characteristics below have a higher risk of developing PTSD

  • Women who do not have a strong social support system.
  • Women who have a history of mental illness such as depression or anxiety.
  • Women who were sexually assaulted.
  • Women who sustained injuries during a traumatic event.
  • Women who had a severe reaction during the time of the event.
  • Women who experience stressful events after a traumatic experience.


Symptoms of PTSD in women usually begin early, around three months after a traumatic event.  However, there are instances where symptoms of PTSD in women don’t begin until years after a traumatic experience.  There are many resources to help in the treatment of PTSD in women.  Health care professionals can diagnose medications such as antidepressants which can help alleviate symptoms such as sadness, anger, and I feeling of internal numbness.

PTSD treatment centers for women, also offer psychotherapy sessions in either a one on one or group settings.  Not only do these sessions help in terms of helping patients cope with the disease, but also help in addressing family, social, or work problems associated with the disease.  Because not everyone has identical cases of the disease, treatment plans tend to be individualized to best suit patients’ needs.

Research suggests that treatment for PTSD in women is more effective than that of men.  This could be because women tend to be more open about communicating feelings or other life experiences than men are.

The first step to recovering from PTSD is making the call for help.  The good news here is that women tend to seek out help when it comes to mental disorders than men are.  This could be another reason that women are more likely to respond more positively to treatment compared to men.  Even with all of the resources available to those suffering from PTSD, one of the best hopes in coping with this disease is the constant support of friends and family members.  That is why family therapy sessions have become so beneficial when it comes to helping those not only cope with the disease, but also gain a clearer understanding of it.  Those who are more educated about things such as symptoms and triggers are able to provide more assistance to loved ones who are suffering from PTSD.  If you or anyone that you know is suffering from PTSD you should not hesitate to reach out and talk to a health care professional as soon as possible.