Why are women veterans the fastest-growing segment of our volunteer force? Whenever we need to raise awareness about a problem, we usually turn to males to do the talking. Why is that? Why is it that women veterans have not had the same opportunities for social interaction that their male counterparts have had?
There are several answers to this question. The largest and most important one has to be access to quality healthcare. Female veterans make up many of the U.S. armed forces who have been physically and emotionally distressed due to combat. Lack of access to quality healthcare in post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions has been a major barrier to recovery and happiness for these women.
Another is access to specialized counseling and therapy. This is another area where female veterans tend to lag behind male veterans to get the help they need. They often go from one counseling session to another without receiving the support they need to make changes in their lives. It is also becoming more widely recognized that many female veterans come out of the military with traumatic brain injury or other medical conditions that affect their ability to think rationally and process information. These conditions tend to lead to depression and other psychological disorders that are potentially life-threatening.
Women are two to three times more likely than men to experience post-traumatic stress disorder or a traumatic brain injury. And female veterans are almost twice as likely as male veterans to experience panic disorder, anxiety disorder, or insomnia. Homeless veterans are also growing significantly faster than any other group of people.
What can be done to address these issues? The best thing that we can all do as citizens is to pay attention to the needs of our fellow citizens, whether they are male or female. Veterans and active-duty service members need to access government resources and services that deal specifically with their unique circumstances. A growing body of literature details how both male and female veterans can access different types of assistance. Many of these services are provided at veteran centers, and some are located primarily for female veterans. The most effective way to get help from such programs is to talk to a trained counselor.
As it turns out, the issue of post-traumatic stress is a particularly important issue among female veterans. According to research, female veterans are five times more likely than the average person to experience post-traumatic stress disorder. It has been suggested that this higher rate is caused by the fact that females experience a greater amount of trauma on a broader scale. Female veterans often battle not only physical injuries but mental and emotional traumas as well. They may go through difficult psychological processes and face difficulties that are similar to what male veterans go through. The consequences of these experiences can be very damaging to the mind and the body and can lead to a variety of mental health conditions.