Did you know that PTSD has also been called ‘shell shock’, ‘battle fatigue’, ‘war neurosis’, and ‘soldier’s heart’? In fact, the term “post traumatic stress disorder” didn’t come into use until the 1970s, due in large part to the diagnoses of US military veterans of the Vietnam War. It was officially (and finally) recognized by the American Psychiatric Association in 1980.
Okay, now on to some more PTSD facts:
Everybody experiences traumatic events at points in their life, but we all process them in different ways. Studies and statistics show that women tend to develop PTSD more often than men. According to statistics, about 4% of men develop PTSD at some point in their life compared to up to 10% of women. Researchers aren’t 100% certain about the exact reason for the gender disparity here, but it is thought that it may have something to do with the types of assaults and traumatic events women may be exposed to, such as sexual abuse.
While you must have PTSD symptoms for at least one month for your doctor to make a diagnosis, it can take several months, and sometimes even years before the symptoms become obvious enough to interfere with your life. PTSD-like symptoms that are experienced directly following a traumatic event may actually be a manifestation of another condition called ‘acute stress disorder’.
It’s absolutely true, men and women tend to experience different symptoms related to PTSD. The key word here is “tend”, as some symptoms may be remarkably similar, however, symptoms for women are more often related to avoiding anything or any situation that may trigger uncomfortable feelings or thoughts. Women can also be jumpier and have more difficulty dealing with the emotions that the triggers or memories evoke. Men, on the other hand, can often become angrier and may turn to alcohol or drugs to help them cope with their feelings.
Here are some additional resources for you, in case you want to learn a bit more about these PTSD Facts:
- 9 Surprising Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Facts
- PTSD is More Likely in Women Than Men | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness
- PTSD and Shell Shock - HISTORY
- From shell shock and war neurosis to posttraumatic stress disorder: a history of psychotraumatology
- New name for PTSD could mean less stigma - The Washington Post
If you missed the any of the previous posts in our PTSD Facts series: