Women War Vets with PTSD improve through CBT

In the U.S., post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is more prevalent among women than men, and is especially prevalent among women in the military. This February 28th JAMA study is the first to examine PTSD treatment for this population – female veterans and women in active duty.

Two types of therapy were compared: prolonged exposure (a type of Cognitive Behavior Therapy) and present-centered therapy (which is often used in VA settings for PTSD). Women veterans and women in active duty with PTSD were randomly assigned to ten sessions of either prolonged exposure (n=141) or present-centered therapy (n=143).

Those who received CBT treatment for PTSD had a greater reduction in symptom severity and were “more than twice as likely to achieve total remission.”

6 replies
  1. Marcia Elfering
    Marcia Elfering says:

    Why is it that PTSD is more common among women and female veterans in Active Duty than in men or retire males?

    Reply
  2. Marcia Elfering
    Marcia Elfering says:

    Does age and origin play a role in as to why the female population tend to be more susceptible to mental illnesses?

    Reply
  3. CT Today
    CT Today says:

    Marcia, we’re not actually familiar with research that pertains to your questions. Perhaps you could look online?

    Reply
  4. Sarah kent
    Sarah kent says:

    I just want to point out that MEN have a much higher rate of completing suicide. Therefore we should not limit enlisting women just because being female may possibly put you at a slightly higher risk for PTSD. Many studies have also shown that whereas male Vietnam vets are very resistant to treatment, women responded very positively to CBT. Therefore, in the big picture it seems that men are at a higher risk of committing suicide, successfully, due to PTSD symptoms.

    Reply
  5. Sarah kent
    Sarah kent says:

    I would love it if someone would look up the actual data showing how many of the suicides in the military were men. I am guessing it would be in the 90th percentile.

    Reply
  6. Sarah kent
    Sarah kent says:

    I think the statistics also have to do with the fact that it is more acceptable in our society for women to share their feelings, and that women are more in touch with their feelings. I recently attended a workshop for parents whose children committed suicide, and all of the parents were parents of teenage boys, and all of them said there were no warning signs whatsoever. So if the boys were suffering from depression, they did not show any signs of it until it was too late. Usually girls will go in to see a counselor or cry if they are depressed, and they will get help before it is too late.

    Reply

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