Why women are more at risk of PTSD – and how to prevent it

Some wounds don’t heal.

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PTSD artwork
PTSD: The causes are many

Estelle Lagarde/Millennium Images, UK

?THINK of the most scared you?ve ever been, and imagine that happening all the time,? says Kerry Ressler. ?You have intrusive terror and nightmares, and the threat of imminent death starts to take over your life.?

That is the horrific reality of post-traumatic stress disorder. But while we tend to think of PTSD primarily as a condition that afflicts soldiers – most of whom are men – more than two-thirds of people with the condition are women. So what puts women at greater risk?

Now, by looking at genetics, hormones, early childhood experiences and even the type of trauma, we are starting to find some answers. These insights are not only shedding light on how PTSD affects everyone, but opening avenues to better treatment – and even ways to prevent it.

As many as 24 million adults…

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