A recent study found that women are more likely to develop PTSD. The researchers are trying to discover the mechanism for the sex difference in PTSD risk.

This suggests first that women who have suffered trauma should be assessed carefully and over time to monitor whether they develop PTSD so that treatment can be initiated as rapidly as possible.

If you have experienced a traumatic event, please seek help quickly to reduce long-term effects.

Symptoms of PTSD include:

1. Re-experiencing symptoms:

  • Flashbacks—reliving the trauma over and over, including physical symptoms like a racing heart or sweating
  • Bad dreams
  • Frightening thoughts.

Re-experiencing symptoms may cause problems in your everyday routine. They can start from your own thoughts and feelings. Words, objects, or situations that are reminders of the event can also trigger re-experiencing.

2. Avoidance symptoms:

  • Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the experience
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Feeling strong guilt, depression, or worry
  • Losing interest in activities that were enjoyable in the past
  • Having trouble remembering the dangerous event.

Things that remind you of the traumatic event can trigger avoidance symptoms. These symptoms may cause you to change your personal routine. For example, after a bad car accident, you may avoid driving or riding in a car.

3. Hyperarousal symptoms:

  • Being easily startled
  • Feeling tense or “on edge”
  • Having difficulty sleeping, and/or having angry outbursts.

Hyperarousal symptoms are usually constant, instead of being triggered by things that remind you of the traumatic event. They can make you feel stressed and angry. These symptoms may make it hard to do daily tasks, such as sleeping, eating, or concentrating.

(Women more likely to develop PTSD)