Women are twice as likely as men to experience PTSD
When we think about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), we tend to think about it as something that mostly affects activity duty service members and veterans. The truth is that PTSD is more present in society than we realize – especially among women. According to a recent article in The Washington Post, women – both civilian and military – are twice as likely as men to experience PTSD.
A number of studies are trying to understand why these disparities exist. One explanation is that women tend to be exposed to trauma, such as sexual assault and sexual abuse, at a younger age while the brain is still developing. Also, men’s and women’s brains process emotions and fear differently, making it more difficult for women to “unlearn” fear and recover from trauma.
Left untreated, PTSD can raise the danger of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, blood clots and certain types of cancer. If you have symptoms of PTSD, such as intrusive flashbacks of previous trauma or recurring nightmares about a particular event, consider talking about it with your doctor or reaching out to a therapist. Remember, PTSD is an illness just like any other – and it is something that can and needs to be treated.