Women Veterans make up a significant percentage of the population, and they are experiencing unique life impacts as a result of their gender. Many women Veterans have successfully transitioned into post-military life, but some still face challenges specific to women’s Veterans. Some of the most common symptoms of female veterans are Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and/or anxiety, high levels of anxiety and/or panic, or other emotional disorders. Often, the veterans ignore these symptoms in their recovery efforts, but they often come back to haunt them in the future. The female Veteran needs to realize that these symptoms are very real to them and that they need support to lead a normal life.
Many women in the military and women in the veteran status suffer from conditions that require intense therapy to effectively manage their health care needs. Post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury cases are often handled by specialized psychologists limited in the type of treatment they can give to the patient due to their civilian counterparts. When a female veteran status veteran has to undergo a post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury treatment, she needs the assurance that her health care will be handled to best suit her mental health. She needs to be able to speak openly with her psychiatrist and be treated in an environment conducive to her mental health care needs.
Many women Veterans are also limited in their ability to receive adequate schooling because they have to stay active duty military service to provide for their families. This leaves many women in the education disadvantage when compared to their male peers. Women Veterans are often academically underrepresented in the higher education setting.
Women Veterans have a lot to gain by joining the military support programs that are exclusively for veterans. There is a special program that is designed especially for them called the VA Office of Women Veterans. This office supports and provides opportunities for women Veterans to meet other female veterans and gain knowledge and support. This support group meets monthly and focuses on providing a safe space for female veterans to share their experiences, learn new skills, and support each other. This group is invaluable for the recovery of female veterans and can make a tremendous difference in their lives. Any woman Veterans suffering from sexual trauma should consider talking to a trained VA health care provider about his or her options.