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WOMEN'S CORNER

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Women's Corner

Over half of all women will be exposed to a traumatic event at least once in their life, and those traumatic experiences are linked to many physical and mental health disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Women are also up to three times more likely to experience PTSD than men who encounter trauma.

What is PTSD?

PTSD is a mental health disorder that can occur after someone experiences a traumatic event. Those who have PTSD often reexperience the traumatic event in flashbacks or nightmares and may be triggered to relive it based on certain triggers. They cannot control this, and it often feels like the event is happening again each time they are triggered. Someone who suffers from it will try to avoid situations that might trigger them and usually wants to avoid talking about the event. They might experience memory problems, depression, and other cognitive or mood changes from PTSD.

PTSD in Women vs. Men

Men often experience more traumatic events in their life than women, yet women are more likely to develop PTSD following an event. This is because women are more likely to experience the types of trauma that can cause PTSD to develop than men. These include sexual assault, sexual abuse, childhood abuse, physical assault, and emotional abuse. Yes, men can experience all of these things too, but they are less likely to for most of these than a woman is. Men are more likely to experience trauma in the form of accidents, combat, disasters, physical assault, and seeing someone die or get seriously injured.

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Trauma and Physical Pain

Since PTSD is a mental health disorder, you may not think that it can also cause physical pain. Someone who has experienced trauma may have headaches, migraines, body aches, back pain, or stomach pain. In some cases, a chronic pain condition like fibromyalgia can stem from someone experiencing significant trauma. If the traumatic event was caused by an injury of some kind, when the PTSD is triggered, the location of the injury might start to hurt.

Some of the physical pain symptoms can also be caused by the depression or anxiety the trauma caused. As your mental health struggles, often someone's physical health can also struggle. Some of the other physical symptoms someone who has experienced trauma may have include fatigue, high blood pressure, and stomach pain or ulcers.

Trauma and Families

Every family experiences trauma and its aftereffects a little differently. There are a lot of different factors, including the family's culture and the age of the children in the family. Some families will come together after a traumatic event, strengthening their bonds with one another and speeding up their recovery from the event. Unfortunately, not all families are able to do that. The stress from the trauma can make them feel alone or overwhelmed, making it harder for a family to cope and heal together.

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I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.

MAYA ANGELOU

ORGANIZATIONS

TRAUMA 
SURVIVORS NETWORK

AMERICAN

TRAUMA SOCIETY

THE NATIONAL

ALLIANCE FOR CAREGIVING

FAMILY

CAREGIVER ALLIANCE

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