Traumatic injury is a leading cause of disability on a global scale, and 96% of people who do survive a traumatic event may suffer debilitating long-term consequences. If you're a woman and you've been through an injury such as a fracture or fall that caused long-term trauma, it is important to know that you may be affected in a different way from men.
Because this is the case, building a strategy to combat the long-term effects of trauma is key. There are many natural ways to reduce the effects of trauma, but it's important to know the risks you're facing first.
How Does Gender Impact Long-Term Trauma Outcomes?
A 2019 study published by researchers at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that there are two main sociodemographic factors - being a woman and having a lower educational level - which can impact outcomes negatively. In their study, the researchers contacted trauma survivors between six and 12 months after their injury. They were then surveyed to obtain data about work status, quality of life, emotional well-being, physical health and well-being, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Results showed that around 48% reported physical limitations and pain on a daily basis, while 37% required help for at least one activity owing to the trauma they had been through. The study showed that as a whole, female gender is a strong predictor of decreased long-term functioning and health.
Why The Results Are So Important
Many women who have been through trauma are eligible for social security disability benefits if this stops them from working. This is particularly true for war veterans, who have a higher rate of trauma-caused injuries The findings suggest, however, that traditional means of quantifying vets' disability needs to take into account both the severity and duration of the injury. Both government bodies and health care workers need to be aware that women may need more time off and support during the therapy period. They may also need intensive health and well-being strategies focused on the type of trauma they have suffered.
The severity of injuries faced by women vary from minor to life-threatening. They range from head injuries to spinal cord, lung, limb, abdominal and skin injuries. Each has its own type of treatment, which can involve a blend of surgery, medication and behavioral therapies such as CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). This is often used, for instance, in PTSD, to encourage patients to understand the vital link between how they think, behave and act. Individuals are typically told to keep a journal and encouraged to change destructive thoughts or behaviors, noticing how these changes affect and enhance each other.
Holistic Activities For The Mental Effects Of Trauma
A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study showed that yoga can be helpful for people experiencing depression, anxiety and PTSD - which often arise from trauma. Sometimes recovery is long and arduous, which is why holistic activities can help. Studies have shown that activities like yoga and mindful meditation lower stress hormone cortisol, lift the mood and raise energy levels. These effects are key when one is undergoing therapy for an injury that may take weeks or months to resolve.
Trauma affects men and women differently. One study shows that women can face greater long-term consequences. These findings are key, both in determining the length of disability support required and in pointing out natural activities that can help them improve their mental health and well-being. Activities include yoga, mindfulness meditation and Tai Chi, all of which have been proven as valid stress busters in a plethora of studies.