by Restorations Therapy Center on Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can affect anyone of any background. Its symptoms can be general, but there are distinct differences in how they show up in men versus women. Being unaware of these differences can often result in symptoms being overlooked and therefore not being diagnosed. This can cause distress in many individuals with symptoms who are unsure of what to do to treat them. Here, the differences in how PTSD symptoms manifest in men versus women will be examined to gain a better understanding.
The National Institutes of Health states that women are two to three times more likely to develop PTSD than their male counterparts. There are various reasons for this, including both psychosocial and biological causes. The differences in symptoms mainly stem from the time of the traumatic event, what type of trauma it is, and biological factors.
Women are more at risk of being exposed to high-impact trauma such as sexual assault, causing various symptoms to manifest that may not appear in men. This experience can lead to feelings of shame and self-blame, which can later factor into abusive relationships, domestic violence, and more interpersonal violence. Women may seek out these relationships because it is what they know and better cope with PTSD by being surrounded by the familiar.
Unlike women, men are less likely to experience PTSD. However, they are more likely to experience traumatic accidents, assaults, combat, disasters, or witness death or serious injury. These experiences can result in a different response to trauma than women, who are more likely to experience a sexual assault. Because these types of traumas typically result in fewer feelings of self-shame than a personal assault would, men often do not internalize their emotions related to PTSD. Instead, they will most likely act out against others in an aggressive manner. Aggression can be perpetuated by heavy drinking or drug use, which may also be used to combat PTSD symptoms. This behavior can be written off as just being aggressive, but it may stem from deeply rooted trauma.
PTSD presents itself in different ways when it comes to men and women. This is due to numerous factors, including biological differences and the characteristics of the trauma. Men are more likely to act out externally while women may turn inwards and self-destruct. At Restorations Therapy, we believe that no trauma is too small. We can help you process past traumatic experiences with our expert staff to bring you to a place of healing and recovery. Call Restorations Therapy today to learn more at (720) 446-6585.