This article was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects men and women in different ways, according to new research. Also, women are more prone than men to develop the illness as a result of trauma, but it takes far longer for doctors to discover this in women.
Statistics show that women are twice as likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder as men. Also, they are more likely to suffer from these symptoms for a longer period of time and be more sensitive to flashbacks of the trauma they have suffered.
Learn about some of the most common symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder among women. Early detection of these symptoms can assist alleviate an individual’s discomfort and enhance treatment outcomes.
Why Does PTSD Affect Women Differently
Why do men and women suffer PTSD in different ways? One notion focuses on how men and women perceive mental health problems differently. Women are more prone than males to suffer from internalizing disorders, whereas men are more likely to suffer from externalizing disorders.
Because the clinical manifestations of PTSD tend to emphasize internalizing symptoms, it stands to reason that women are more likely to develop this disorder. Men who have experienced trauma may be more susceptible to developing problems characterized by externalizing symptoms such as substance abuse.
Regardless of the various reasons why women experience PTSD differently, research indicates that many women delay getting care or never seek medical help at all.
How PTSD Affects Women Differently
Almost every symptom on the PTSD Checklist, Civilian Version was shown in a study published in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders in 2015 to be more distressing in women than men (PCL-C).
17 items on the PTSD Checklist correspond to the most common symptoms of PTSD. In women with this disorder, some of the following symptoms are more common:
PTSD is characterized by a strong desire to avoid all contact with the outside world. Avoiding thoughts and feelings that evoke memories of the traumatic experiences may be a part of this process. Avoiding places, people, or other environmental triggers that bring back memories of the trauma can also be a form of behavioral avoidance.
Thought avoidance was shown to be one of the most common PTSD symptoms among women, according to one study, even though this avoidance may alleviate short-term distress, evidence suggests that attempting to suppress thoughts or feelings might actually worsen PTSD symptoms.
One of the most common symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is hyperarousal. Anxiety, excessive startle reflex, hyper-vigilance, sleep disturbances, concentration difficulties, irritability, and panic attacks are all possible symptoms of panic disorder.
Women with PTSD who were in the military have been found to have higher hyperarousal scores than men, according to research.
Experimenting Trauma All over Again
Other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder include “re-experiencing,” which refers to having unwelcome or intrusive thoughts or recollections relating to the incident.
Incident-related symptoms include recurring thoughts about the trauma, nightmares, and flashbacks that make it feel like the trauma is happening again.
Women are more likely to suffer from this ailment than males, according to studies. Because people may not identify that what they are experiencing is a flashback, these feelings can be frightening and disturbing.
Due to how lifelike the experience is, people exhibit all of the physical and mental reactions they would in the face of an actual threat.
Being Emotionally Numb
It is possible to become emotionally numb by ignoring uncomfortable or overpowering feelings. In this condition, you may experience a lack of emotional connection with those around you, as well as a decrease in interest in activities you once enjoyed.
It is a prevalent symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which serves as a means of avoiding uncomfortable memories or thoughts.
Other disorders may be mistaken for PTSD or even coexist with the disorder. Addictions to alcohol, obsessive-compulsive disorders, panic disorders, and major depression are all examples of such disorders.
People who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder sometimes resort to unhealthy coping techniques, such as drinking or taking other drugs. Emotional numbing was linked to higher rates of risky alcohol use among women in one study.