How to Help Women with PTSD
Women are more prone to PTSD than men. The amount of women currently being diagnosed with PTSD is growing drastically everyday. Those out there fighting for their lives and ours are being greatly affected and we need to help. Veterans Affairs currently does little to nothing to help these women. When returning from combat, they are left alone as if they did not suffer, in order to protect the United States government and the people also. Due to the great amounts of women soldiers returning home after combat with PTSD, the council of veterans affairs needs to prioritize the full rehabilitation of women over males, by providing help for their mental disability, the attention for those with psychological disabilities, and requiring care for those with severe depression.
PTSD, also known as post traumatic stress disorder is a mental health problem in which can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic and/or life threatening event such as combat or war, a car accident, sexual assault, and the harassment by fellow peers. Some symptoms women veterans experience with PTSD are the prying thoughts of the traumatic event, nightmares, depression, feelings of guilt, flashbacks, outbursts of anger, and insomnia. While 30 percent of women veterans seek help, 70 percent are more than likely to cope with these symptoms with huge amounts of anxiety and depression, while men resort to the excessive use of alcohol or drugs in order to ease the pain and memory. Men are continuously being helped with their PTSD, while women are continuously being left behind and forgotten the second they arrive back home from war/combat. While the men are praised with therapy and medications, women are pushed into hiding and the long lasting horrific memory remains.
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While PTSD is seen to only affect men, it also extremely affects women. According to a study, Non-hispanic white women were more likely to experience symptoms such as being antisocial, concluding that different ethnicities were considered when considering different races who have been diagnosed with PTSD. Women from all classes and races, continue to enlist themselves into the four different branches of the armed forces, such as the Air Force, Navy, Marines, and the Army. Soldiers are sent out into the front lines of a war, risking their entire lives, just to come back and be given no acknowledgement for all the work they have done, how would you feel? Most people never return to normality, when signing up for combat they risk everything from their health, lives, and their relationships with their children, family, and spouses. “Women veterans with PTSD report greater levels of hostility as compared to those without, women veterans with PTSD demonstrate poorer levels of functioning, and hostility will be related to functional health status in women with PTSD (Butterfield/Formeris/Feldman /Beckham). Women continuously are becoming damaged mentally and physically, which is why we must provide more help for women who are becoming mentally disabled.
Imagine, you’ve been out in war for 2 years with no breaks, you have been through blood, sweat, and tears. You’ve been abused, shot, you’ve suffered some of the most traumatic events more than any person should have to. To continue, you are a mother of 4 kids, a wife, and you have a whole family seeking your arrival, when the day finally arrives they are frightened by the person you have become. You arrive back home safely, but you can’t sleep, you are always depressed, whenever you close your eyes you experience flashbacks of the time you were driving a humvee and your bestfriend is driving one as well behind you when all of a sudden you look into your side view mirror to find that the humvee has just exploded and the 3 people you were closest to on your base have just died. Imagine this terrifying scene, women experience this continuously when arriving back home from the battlefield, after risking everything they have. In a study on the hostility women experience with PTSD, those with PTSD had “a higher level of hostility, cynicism, hostile affect, and depression(Butterfield/Formeris/Feldman/Beckham). The statistics continue to rise daily, the department of Veterans Affairs needs to set out more programs and precautions in order to help out those women who are incapable of being their true selves. The VA currently does nothing in order to make sure that women are continuously seeking treatment for their illnesses. Men are continuously being admitted to see therapists in the VA’s offices while a woman could wait for as much as 8 hours before being seen by a therapist. Day after day, men are foreseen as more superior than women, why is that?
In what ways can the VA help in order to support the women currently suffering from mental disabilities after combat? In October of 2000, a study done by Butterfield, Formeris, Feldman, & Beckham the answers were provided to them clearly. “Women with PTSD had poorer health status functioning compared to women without PTSD across all physical and emotional domains According to this study, it is established that women need regular therapy visits, in which need to be provided and required by the VA, in order to make a greater difference in the lives of women veterans. Only one symptom is foreseen to be alike by both male and female, but women are still seen as an underdog. Hostility is prominent when experiencing PTSD, and the VA seems to forget that, women have a harder time with certain symptoms rather than males.