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Post: PTSD Symptoms in Women

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PTSD Symptoms in Women
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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental illness that some people develop following a traumatic experience. Not everyone develops PTSD, but it can be highly distressing for those who do. Though anyone can be susceptible to PTSD, women are twice as likely than men to develop it. Regardless of gender, PTSD symptoms can vary from person to person.

This article discusses PTSD symptoms in women and explains its causes, prevalence, and treatment. Lourdes Balduque / Getty Images A Note on Gender and Sex Terminology

Verywell Health acknowledges that sex and gender are related concepts. However, they are not the same. To reflect our sources accurately, this article uses terms like “female,” “male,” “woman,” and “man” as our sources do. PTSD Symptoms in Women

PTSD symptoms occur when you associate a traumatic experience with a trigger in your current life. You experience a natural fear response to the trigger, even if there is no present threat.

For a healthcare provider to diagnose you with PTSD, you must experience several symptoms for at least one month. PTSD symptoms include: Reexperiencing the traumatic incident either through flashbacks, recurring dreams or memories, distressing thoughts, or physical stress symptoms.

Avoiding places, things, or reminders of the event and avoiding thoughts and feelings related to the event.

Having reactive responses , such as startling easily, feeling tense or on edge, having difficulty concentrating, experiencing sleep disturbances, feeling irritable or angry, and engaging in dangerous or destructive behaviors.

Experiencing cognition or mood-related symptoms , such as difficulty remembering the incident, feeling negative about yourself or the world, having uncontrollable guilt or shame, losing interest in activities, experiencing isolation, or no longer experiencing joy or happiness.

Women in particular may experience PTSD symptoms uniquely, including being more likely to: Startle more easily than men Express fear differently from men and exhibit fight-and-flight responses more often Feel more distractible and experience emotional distress and numbness Avoid reminders of traumatic incidents Experience depression and anxiety LGBTQ+ People Have the Highest PTSD Risk Those who identify as LGBTQ+ are also at an increased […]

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