Recognizing Female Veterans with PTSD

The military used to be a male-only profession, but more and more women are joining the armed services. This naturally results in more women becoming veterans. Like men, women may return home and display signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, though in different ways than men. With more women suffering from this condition, it’s important to recognize the symptoms and how it may differ from symptoms male veterans experience. Here is some more information on recognizing female veterans suffering from PTSD that may require the help of a PTSD treatment center.

PTSD Symptoms

Both men and women may suffer from PTSD symptoms when returning home from deployment. While some of these symptoms are common among both men and women, such as avoidance, numbing, hyper-arousal, and re-experiencing the trauma, others may differ based on sex. While men are more likely to develop issues of anger and drug and alcohol dependency, women are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety upon their return. Understanding these differences will help those around the person recognize when they may be suffering from symptoms of PTSD.


When a veteran returns home, they may suffer from what is known as re-experiencing symptoms. These symptoms are present when the person reacts as though they are still experiencing the traumatic event that initially caused the PTSD. The reactions can come in a variety of ways, including nightmares, flashbacks, and frightening thoughts. While there are various ways that these experiences may reappear in the mind of the veteran, it only takes one to recognize that the person is suffering from PTSD.


When veterans return home, they may seem as though they are isolating themselves, keeping away from people, places, or things. This is because those either remind them of a traumatic experience or they are fearful that they might be reminded of the traumatic experience. Avoidance issues are quite common among veterans suffering from PTSD as they wish to avoid those feelings at all costs. This can have a negative effect on their relationships with those around them and cause them to avoid events they once enjoyed. Treatment can help veterans work through these problems so that this symptom doesn’t have a negative impact on their lives.


When a veteran comes home after experiencing trauma, they may show signs of excessive anxiety or anger. These feelings may display themselves as angry outbursts, nervousness, and difficulty sleeping. They may also experience negative thoughts or feelings, such as excessive guilt, self-blame, and not finding pleasure in regular activities. Some of these feelings are common after going through a traumatic experience, but they may not appear right away. These feelings can be triggered months or years following the traumatic experience.

Receiving Support

When any service member returns from deployment, they often need emotional support in the form of someone to talk to. These social support networks can be in the form of loved ones or a professional, such as a therapist, that can provide a caring individual with which to talk through their emotional troubles. Receiving this type of support will allow them to reduce the risks of PTSD symptoms.

While the military was at one time solely a male occupation, more women have become members, causing challenges when they join their fellow service members and when they return home. Understanding the problems that female service members may suffer from and the symptoms they may display upon their return will allow those close to them to help them find a PTSD treatment center in Florida. Visit Kinder in the Keys if you or a loved one need support to cope with PTSD.


Author Bio

Dr. Laura Tanzini, DrPh, MA, MFT

Dr. Laura Tanzini is a highly educated and accomplished professional with a background in biology and psychology. She received a BS in Biology from UC Riverside, an MA in psychology from Phillips Graduate Institute, and a Doctorate in Public Health with a specialty in Lifestyle Medicine from Loma Linda University.

Dr. Laura Tanzini is a Board Certified Professional Counselor, Integrative Medicine Clinician, and PTSD Clinician. She has worked in multiple medical hospitals, mental health institutions, and inpatient eating disorder clinics. Also, Dr. Tanzini has written scholarly papers and spoken on various topics related to nutrition, stress, menopause, obesity, depression, anxiety, and human development.