Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can develop in individuals who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. While PTSD can affect anyone, research suggests that men may experience the disorder differently than women. In this blog, we will explore PTSD in men, how they may negatively cope with trauma, and what steps can be taken to seek help.
PTSD in Men:
PTSD affects approximately 5–6% of men at some point in their lives. Men are more likely to experience trauma such as combat, violence, or accidents, which can increase their risk of developing PTSD. Additionally, men may be less likely to seek help for mental health concerns, which can make it more challenging to manage PTSD symptoms.
Negative Coping Mechanisms:
Men may cope with trauma differently than women, which can lead to negative coping mechanisms. Some of these coping mechanisms include:
- Substance Use: Men may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with trauma. While this may provide temporary relief, it can lead to addiction and make PTSD symptoms worse in the long run.
In a U.S. national epidemiologic study, 27.9% of women and 51.9% of men with lifetime PTSD also had Substance Use Disorder (Kessler et al. 1995)
- Avoidance: Men may avoid emotions (Schick et al. 2020) and places or people that remind them of the trauma, which can lead to social isolation and make it challenging to move forward from the traumatic event.
- Aggression: Men may become more aggressive or irritable after trauma. This can negatively affect relationships and make it challenging to manage symptoms.
- Workaholism: Another form of avoidance. Men may focus on work as a way to distract themselves from trauma. While this may provide temporary relief, it can lead to burnout and exacerbate PTSD symptoms.
PTSD is a treatable condition, and seeking help is an essential step in managing symptoms. Treatment options for PTSD include therapy, medication, and support groups. The Centre for Clinical Psychology in Melbourne is a resource for men who are seeking help for PTSD. Their team of mental health professionals can provide evidence-based treatment and support for individuals experiencing PTSD.
If you or someone you know is struggling with PTSD, it is essential to seek help. The Centre for Clinical Psychology in Melbourne offers treatment for PTSD and other mental health concerns. You can book an appointment by calling 03 9077 0122 or visiting https://ccp.net.au/booking/. Take the first step towards managing PTSD symptoms and improving your mental health today.
Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2008). National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results. Canberra: ABS.
Kessler, R. C., Sonnega, A., Bromet, E. J., Hughes, M., & Nelson, C. B. (1995). Posttraumatic stress disorder in the National Comorbidity Survey. Archives of General Psychiatry, 52, 1048-1060. doi: 10.1001/archpsyc.1995.03950240066012
Olff M. (2017). Sex and gender differences in post-traumatic stress disorder: an update. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 8(sup4), 1351204. https://doi.org/10.1080/20008198.2017.1351204
Schick, MR, Weiss, NH, Contractor, AA, Suazo, NC, Spillane, NS. Post-traumatic stress disorder’s relation with positive and negative emotional avoidance: The moderating role of gender. Stress Health. 2020; 36: 172– 178. https://doi.org/10.1002/smi.2920
U.S. Department of Veterans affairs (2023,May,1) PTSD: National Center for PTSD. How Common Is PTSD in Adults? https://www.ptsd.va.gov/understand/common/common_adults.asp