Female Veterans Stationed in Vietnam Have Higher PTSD Risk than Stateside Veterans

Posted on October 22, 2015 by Disability Help Group

Female veterans who served in the Vietnam War are prone to developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) similar to any other veteran. However, recent studies have revealed that PTSD rates in female Vietnam veterans may be higher than their counterparts stateside.

A study of 4,219 female Vietnam-era veterans revealed that the majority of the participants who were stationed in Vietnam had a higher PTSD risk. Of the participants, 1,956 served directly in Vietnam, most as Army nurses, and 657 served near Vietnam, most in the Air Force. The remaining participants served in the United States.

During the Vietnam War era, women were excluded from combat, but that did not keep them from seeing casualties and other stressors that can contribute to PTSD development. Of the women surveyed, 20.1 percent of the Vietnam-stationed veterans had developed PTSD in their lifetime, compared to 11.5 percent of the veterans stationed near Vietnam and 14.1 percent of the United States-stationed veterans.

Unique Stressors Faced by Female Veterans

Researchers believe that aside from the common PTSD triggers such as mass casualty exposure, medical trauma exposure, and average servicemember stress, female Vietnam veterans had unique stressors. Many women of the Vietnam era reported sexual harassment, discrimination, and job performance pressure, which can also contribute to development of PTSD.

These findings may help VA clinicians better assess and treat female Vietnam War veterans who are seeking treatment for PTSD. It may also help with veterans disability claims for female Vietnam veterans seeking benefits for mental health conditions such as PTSD.

Disability Help Group Can Help with Your Veterans Benefits Claim

The Disability Help Group provides assistance to disabled U.S. veterans of any era. If your application for benefits was denied or you received an unfair disability rating, contact us online or call us at 1-(800)-800-3332 to schedule a consultation with our disability advocates!