Although PTSD is most commonly associated with men who've survived combat, women are twice as likely to develop it. In fact, the American Psychological Association says that while 5% - 6% of men will develop PTSD in their lifetime, 10% - 12% of women will do so.
What is PTSD?
PTSD is not a mental health disorder, but it is defined as a mental health condition. This is because you develop it in reaction to a traumatic event. Symptoms include:
- Intense anxiety
- Uncontrollable thoughts about the trauma
- Negative problem solving skills
- Somatization (The development of physical symptoms from a psychiatric condition)
What is the difference between PTSD and CPTSD (a.k.a. complex PTSD)?
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, PTSD is the official diagnosis. It's a broad category with a wide range of symptoms that trauma survivors experience. This diagnosis was originally built upon the symptoms of military trauma which meant that there was the notion of a singular event being the catalyst (e.g. watching the violent death of a friend). As such, this was termed "simple PTSD" and is more psychological in nature.
However, complex trauma (exposure to repeated, traumatic experiences that destroy your sense of safety in the world) oftentimes results in complex PTSD (CPTSD). These are typically prolonged, interpersonal experiences that started in childhood. CPTSD's symptoms are different from those of PTSD. For instance, physical and behavioral symptoms are more common here.
Why are women more likely to develop PTSD? Especially CPTSD?
To answer this question we must first understand that PTSD is an anxiety disorder. It's meant to prevent further harm. To do this the nervous system grows hyper-vigilant when it comes to looking for environmental threats to one's safety. Unfortunately, women are more likely to experience the types of events that lead to CPTSD, beginning in childhood. This is because they report higher rates of neglect, abuse, and adverse household circumstances. Research shows:
- 13.1% of women are emotionally abused compared to 7.6% of men
- 24.7% of women are sexually abused compared to 16% of men
- 16.7% of women are emotionally neglected compared to 9.2% of men
- 23.3% of women have a mental illness in the home compared to 14.8% of men
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These stressors take a toll on women's health. It's time to stand up and realize what's happening so we can help those who are affected.
I know several men who have came back from combat who have PTSD, but I also know several women who have it due to circumstances from their own lives. I'm glad you are shining a light on this!ReplyDelete
Unfortunately a lot of men get it from combat which is why it's so commonly thought that this is the only way of getting it.Delete
I'm excited for this book and I preordered it. This is something that touches really close to home for me. I've had several things happened throughout my lifetime and when those similarities arise I start to panic.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much! You'll have to let me know what you think.Delete
Thank you for sharing this. My niece has PTSD and I appreciate you spreading awareness.ReplyDelete
All my best to your niece. I hope she's able to find some peace.Delete
I am glad this is being spoken about more. I know about it since my husband is in the military and you hear about it a lot.ReplyDelete
Unfortunately I can see that being true although I wish it wasn't.Delete
This post is really informative. I had no idea more women were known for having PTSD.ReplyDelete
I never realized or had heard, that more women than men have PTSD. Interesting informatino you've shared here so that I can research more on this topic. I love being educated about everything possible.ReplyDelete
Stay tuned, I'll be more than happy to help with your research ;)Delete
I didn't realize that more women suffer from PTSD than men. Childhood shouldn't be a scarring experience, but unfortunately it is for way too many.ReplyDelete
It saddens me what some people go through in childhood. Mine was traumatic enough, I couldn't imagine anything worse.Delete
Now I understand why other people mostly women experiencing this kind of mental health issue. Thank you for giving an insight about this issue.ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing this insightful post. I can't imagine having to live with PTSDReplyDelete
It's definitely not fun but it's manageable.Delete
It's good to be aware of this condition. So many are affected by this unfortunately.ReplyDelete
Yes unfortunately about 3% of Americans are affected by it :(Delete
I've always just heard of men having PTSD so the stats that more women have it than men surprised me. -LYNNDEEReplyDelete
I think women do a better job of hiding what's going on with them. We're taught to be strong for our family.Delete
This is so interesting. I had no idea women were more prone to PSTD than men. As I read the reasons why, it makes sense. Regardless, this is an important issue and I'm glad you are bringing attention to it. Much needed.ReplyDelete
I think many people are surprised to hear how many women have it.Delete
Thanks for your complements.
This is so sad, I didn't know that more women suffer from PTSD. Women are weaker that man's strength. My heart shatters whenever i hear a woman was sexually abused. Thank you for spreading this awareness.ReplyDelete
Unfortunately so many women are sexually abused, myself included. A lot of times women struggle in silence - being taught to be strong for their families. I think that's why this statistic is so surprising.Delete
I'm glad you were able to share this with us. I didn't know that more women get this then men. I honestly thought it would have been the opposite.ReplyDelete
You're not alone in thinking that.Delete
I know different women that they got PTSD after an traumatic event. I found a lot of interesting things about it in your post!ReplyDelete
I hope I was able to help you understand these women a bit better.Delete
Yes PTSD is really diffcult that too happens after some thing dangerous, it affect the life really badly.ReplyDelete
Its great seeing more people spreading awareness on mental health. PTSD is awful and its so sad to read about how many women suffer from it due to sexual abuse or rape. Absolutely heartbreaking.ReplyDelete
I'm glad mental health isn't so stigmatized anymore.Delete
PTSD is such a hard thing to go through. But remember, you are not alone in your struggle! We have all been there.ReplyDelete