PTSD and Female Veterans

PTSD can occur after you have been through a traumatic event. A traumatic event is something horrible and scary that you see or that happens to you.

If you are in the military, you may have seen combat. You may have been on missions that exposed you to horrible and life-threatening experiences. You may have been shot at, seen a friend shot, or seen death. These are types of events that can lead to PTSD.

Military sexual trauma (MST) can also lead to PTSD. Sometimes, PTSD is also associated with intimate partner violence (IPV).

Women are more likely than men to develop chronic, or long-lasting, PTSD after experiencing a trauma. Not all women who experience a traumatic event develop PTSD. However, women are more likely to develop PTSD if they:

  • Have a past mental health problem (like depression or anxiety)
  • Experience a very severe or life-threatening trauma
  • Were sexually assaulted
  • Were injured during the event
  • Had a severe reaction at the time of the event
  • Experienced other stressful events afterwards
  • Do not have good social support

Some PTSD symptoms are more common in women than in men. Women are more likely to be jumpy, to have trouble feeling emotions, and to avoid things that remind them of the trauma.


PTSD can be treated. A doctor or mental health professional with experience in treating people with PTSD can help you. Treatment may include "talk" therapy, medication, or both.