PTSD – I thought it was just a male thing

What is PTSD – is just a male thing?

Most people when asked about PTSD will associate it with acute trauma such as being in a battle (e.g. shell shock) or having been in a major accident. In other words there has to be an acutely traumatic incident usually involving risk of death. Not so. It can be associated with chronic trauma a long time ago such as childhood abuse. It can be associated with medical treatment such as major surgery or being in intensive care. Because of our perceptions about PTSD it has tended to be very much associated with service personnel. After all the media will often refer to it in this way and to charities such as Combat Stress. This means that the experience of women are often forgotten. Childhood abuse can lead to clear symptoms of PTSD although there is a view that chronic long term trauma in childhood leads to the more specific condition of Complex PTSD.

Trauma in Childbirth

Trauma in childbirth is a particular problem and one that is rarely discussed by maternity staff or GPs. This doesn’t just apply to miscarriage, stillbirth etc, it can apply to traumatic but successful deliveries such as those requiring a Caesarean section.


All health professionals need to be alert to the possibility of PTSD following medical trauma especially if the outcome has been successful where we would naturally assume everyone including the patient, would be happy. They often are but sometimes they are not.


Dr John Wilkins, Consultant Psychiatrist is commenting after watching

How we can help

We have an excellent team of clinicians who are able to treat PTSD and a wide range of other psychiatric conditions. In the first instance, we will require a letter of referral from the GP. We are able to offer in-patient, out-patient or day-patient care depending on need and this is all discussed at the initial assessment.  For more information please see