Women Veterans & PTSD Research

Many Nebraska women might be interested in a new report by the World Health Organization. The WHO on June 20 released a 50-page report on violence against women that also touched on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It called violence against women a global epidemic affecting approximately 33 percent of all women. One relatively unknown aspect of the problem is PTSD, a mental affliction most people already know affects the nation’s veterans. However, the report also stated that medical research had found PTSD in women who are victims of sexual or domestic abuse.

PTSD Affects More than Just Women Veterans

Trauma can cause PTSD. It affects veterans more than other groups, and is a serious problem. Pop culture focuses more on trauma caused by violence in war instead of trauma caused by violence against a woman by a stranger, acquaintance or intimate partner. Nevertheless, about 25 percent of American women are victims of domestic or sexual violence, and many feel traumatized. Additionally, not much research focuses on PTSD caused by those kinds of trauma.

PTSD causes numerous mental and physical health issues. It can cause substance abuse, anxiety disorders, depression and even suicide. Experts would like to see more money for research. They say PTSD is a women’s issue as well as a veteran’s issue that is of importance to female veterans. In addition, better funding to study the issue could also shed light on the impact of PTSD on women veterans who were sexually assaulted in the military.

 

In any case, higher levels of funding for PTSD research would help veterans and women. The medical community ignored PTSD for a long time and then misunderstood it. However, it is now a recognized medical condition that doctors understand has psychological, emotional and physical symptoms.

Source: Think Progress, “How PTS research can help America’s woman and veterans”, Kendall Bills, June 21, 2013.