Column: Focusing on PTSD in women veterans


For many years the impact of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on veterans has been the topic of discussion among health and activists circles, but usually with the emphasis on male veterans.

The effect and details of PTSD in women veterans has been lumped into the amalgamated whole. Studies have made it imperative that we separate the effects of PTSD by gender. Not only do the results of PTSD have different effects based on sex, but the cause of the disorder is greatly affected by the gender of the sufferer.

PTSD is not a “one size fits all” disorder and the effects are very individualist. A situation that can cause one veteran to erupt with anger and rage can send another into depression. As more women serve in the military, the rates of PTSD in women veterans continue to keep pace with male statistics.

Although some of it is cause by combat or related stress, the effects of Military Sexual Trauma (MST) have an outsize effect on women. Sufferers of MST were found to be three times likely to suffer mental health issues, and this includes PTSD.

My next column will focus on the three primary symptoms of PTSD.

By Phyllis Manley

Contributing columnist

For questions or general concerns for women veterans, you can contact Manley at [email protected].

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