Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a phenomenon that complicates the treatment of addiction at our facility.
Women at Higher Risk for Developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) commonly develops after experiencing some type of traumatic event. And while anybody who has experienced trauma can develop PTSD, it is more likely to develop in women than in men.
Women are twice as likely as men to develop PTSD. According to the National Center for PTSD, that is because women are more often the victims of sexual assault, which has a high likelihood of triggering the disorder. It may also be because women tend to blame themselves for trauma experiences more than men, according to the center.
Though women have an increased risk of developing PTSD, not all women who experience trauma will develop the disorder. Some may develop addictions to drugs or alcohol and others may experience depression or anxiety, while other women will not develop any disorder.
According to the National Center for PTSD, those women who are more likely to develop the disorder experience the following events:
- Sexual assault
- Severe or life-threatening trauma
- Severe reaction at the time of the traumatic event
- Additional stressful events after the initial traumatic event
- A past mental health problem, such as depression or anxiety
- A lack of good social support
Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Certain symptoms of PTSD are commonly experienced by anyone with the disorder. Those symptoms include avoidance, hypersensitivity, re-experiencing the event and numbing any emotions associated with the trauma.
There are certain symptoms of PTSD, however, that are more common in women than men, according to the National Center for PTSD:
- Women are more likely to avoid things that remind them of trauma
- Women are more likely to be jumpy
- Women have more trouble feeling emotions associated with the trauma
- Women are more likely to feel depressed and anxious
It may also take women longer to recover from PTSD than men, and women have a much higher chance of having long-lasting symptoms associated with the disorder.
Studies have shown that more than half of women will experience some type of traumatic event in their life. That event may be sexual abuse or neglect, the sudden death of a loved one or witnessing a tragic accident.
Treatment for Women
Fortunately, women respond well to trauma treatment, and are more likely than men to seek help after a traumatic event. Trauma treatment often includes therapeutic work that requires victims of trauma to share their experiences and feelings about the event, which is something women may be more comfortable doing when in a supportive environment.
Residential treatment centers that specialize in trauma provide nurturing and supportive settings for women to work through their PTSD and other trauma-related issues, such as substance abuse or depression. At a residential treatment center, women will participate in individual, group and family therapy and address how any trauma has affected them.
If you are a woman who has experienced some type of trauma, know that, with the right type of treatment, it is possible to address the trauma and move on with your life.