News Details

PTSD diagnosis rates rise among female troops

Source: Navy Times
Published: Monday 12 March, 2012

Capt. Karen-Nicole Napper wasn’t in a combat unit. But as a signal officer with four tours of duty under her belt, she was shot at and mortared on a regular basis, flying from one forward operating base to another aboard CH-47 Chinook helicopters.

On her last deployment to Afghanistan, a fellow soldier was hit by a mortar two buildings away from hers and could be identified only by his dog tags, she recalled. Midway through that deployment, she began having trouble sleeping and developed anxiety problems.

She finally sought help, but it wasn’t easy.

“I remember feeling pretty profoundly, as a woman being in command, not wanting to fall into the stereotype of, ‘We’ve got another sappy female breaking under pressure,’” she said.

Napper is among a growing number of female troops diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder at higher rates than their male counterparts, according to the annual Military Times Poll.

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