Women and Trauma
According to the American Psychological Association, more than 50% of all individuals will experience at least one traumatic event in their lifetime. Of these, close to 10% will be permanently scarred by it and will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These numbers may seem insignificant at first. But considering the proven connections between trauma and suicide, and between trauma and addiction, they are cause for concern. And this is particularly true where women and trauma are concerned.
When it comes to women and trauma, the numbers don’t lie. Again according to the APA, women are at a far higher risk of adverse consequences after a traumatic event. Women are twice as likely to suffer from PTSD, for instance. The symptoms of traumatic also last for longer in women. And women are more sensitive than men are to triggers that remind them of their trauma. But these increased risks are coupled with the fact women are less likely to seek help. Healthcare professionals are also less likely to diagnose women with PTSD, even when their symptoms are more severe. When examining the problems surrounding women and trauma it becomes very clear that not enough is being done.
Women and Trauma: The Symptoms
When the effects of trauma go untreated, there can be terrible consequences for a woman’s health. The psychological problems associated with trauma are, somewhat obviously, especially dire. But there are also physical consequences. Recent studies at Yale University show that symptoms can include:
- Increased adrenaline release resulting in shortness of breath, stomach discomfort, sweaty palms, and a racing heart
- Difficulty sleeping
- The feeling of physical stress and strain
- Increased likelihood of chronic illness
And researchers have known for years that trauma increases the likelihood of addiction. Put simply, the consequences of trauma are quite severe. And taking the relationship between women and trauma into account, they become more dangerous still.
Treating Women and Trauma
There are, however, several approaches that can help treat women and trauma. Among these are:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy, in which patients explore the roots of their trauma
- Group therapy, in which they share their experiences and learn from their peers
- Individual therapy, in which patients work with a psychologist one-on-one
- Family therapy, in which family bonds that have been broken as a result of the trauma or addiction are repaired and strengthened
There is not a single answer for every woman who has suffered trauma. But by reaching out, there is hope.
Reach Out to Lakeview Health Today
If you or someone you care about is battling addiction that has resulted from trauma, it is time to seek professional help. And our trauma-informed care programs in Jacksonville, FL, are designed with patients like you in mind. And a key aspect of our program is our gender-responsive approach.
At Lakeview, we offer multiple levels of care, including medically supervised detoxification, a residential addiction treatment plan, outpatient care, and a comprehensive aftercare program. We also offer numerous levels and varieties of counseling and a reintegration program aimed at helping individuals who are moving on from addiction successfully. And all of these are infused with our trauma-informed mission.
If you are interested in the topic of women and trauma or have experienced trauma yourself, take the first step by reaching out to Lakeview Health. Contact us using our secure online form today, or call us at 866.704.7692. Moving on from addiction is never easy, particularly when you have experienced trauma. But with support, you can take your life back.