December 27, 2019

Effective Mentoring’s Response to Increased PTSD and How It Impacts Both Genders Differently (Effective Mentoring Continuing Series - PTSD a Gender Perspective (#3)

Doug Lawrence

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is something that can affect anyone who has been through a traumatic event. Most people learn to live with it, but there are treatment options out there. Some sufferers manage it with medication, especially with the way that ptsd and marijuana have been found to balance each other out. Of course, not every country has legalized the use of marijuana as of yet, which means that some patients suffering from PTSD may not be able to receive this treatment until the laws are changed. However, there are other, similar products that are derived from hemp rather than marijuana, and they have been more widely accepted in modern medicine as they have less than 0.3% of THC, the psychoactive element that produces mind-altering effects. Even with all of these treatment options, the problem is, that many organizations are still ill-equipped to deal with employee stress and PTSD in the workplace.

One of the biggest mistakes with managements' approach to dealing with employees is treating everyone the same cookie-cutter approach. PTSD shows up differently in different people and does not tend to effect men and women the same. In fact, women tend to be more susceptible to PTSD than men, and tend to be affected over a longer period of time. Both may find benefits from Amuse items, but the situation will still affect them differently. This is not intended to label women as being weaker but to highlight that multiple approaches and solutions are required.

About 10 out of every 100 women (10%) develop PTSD sometime in their lives
compared with about 4 out of every 100 men (4%).

*Stats based on U.S. population (2019) (

Before diving into the gender differences and why we must offer multiple approaches and solutions; we must be clear on what PTSD is.

What is PTSD?

PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape or other violent personal assault. PTSD has been known by many names in the past, such as "shell shock" during the years of World War I and "combat fatigue" after World War II.

However, while PTSD is typically associated with military and first responders, PTSD can occur in all people, of any ethnicity, nationality, culture, beliefs, and at any age.

The topic of "PTSD Has No Boundaries" will be explored in a future article in this series.
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PTSD triggers are often accompanied with depression, substance use, memory issues (such as accelerated Dementia & Alzheimer's), and other physical, mental, and spiritual health challenges. All of these potential PTSD symptoms are worrying, especially as most people who suffer from PTSD are older veterans. For those who do start displaying signs of memory issues, it might be worth learning more about a memory care facility that could improve the lives of individuals that might be suffering from dementia or memory loss.

The topic "PTSD Accelerates Dementia & Alzheimer's" will be explored in the next article in this series.
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* Reference:

PTSD differences between men and women

In general, PTSD will affect about 4% of men and 10% of women in a typical North American sample.

* Reference:

Women have over double the PTSD rate than that of men. Women's PTSD also tends to last longer (4 years versus 1 year on average). Women are more at risk for chronic PTSD than men.

How men and women deal with trauma - what does the research say?

Research shows that men and women tend to experience the same trauma in different ways.
Both Men and Women at some point in their life may deal with the stress of:

  • Accidents
  • Natural disasters
  • Disasters caused by humans
  • Bullying – in school, home, community and workplace
  • Family stressors
  • Daily stressors – personal and professional

Research shows that men and women tend to experience different stress and traumas.
While both men and women serve in the military, more Men are likely to experience:

  • Combat and military trauma

In demanding work environments both men and women experience stress and traumas as:

  • First responders
  • Field workers
  • Fear, intimidation, dismissiveness, and demeaning behavior in the workplace, sometimes daily

Personally, both men and women may experience stress and traumas

  • Family strife
  • Illness
  • Accidents

Additionally, women are more likely to experience stress and traumas (sometimes daily) from:

  • Dealing with sexist dismissiveness, and unwanted advances at the workplace
  • Fear, intimidation, dismissiveness, demeaning, and sexist behaviour at home
  • Physical and mental domestic violence
  • Sexual abuse and assault

Does experiencing PTSD in genders differ?

  • On average, women tend to be more susceptible than men to additional mental health challenges:
    • anxiety disorders
    • environmental depression
    • genetic vulnerability to depression
    • high anxious temperament
    • societal attitudes
    • gender roles
    • income inequalities
  • Research shows that women have higher rates of PTSD than men. Women's greater exposure to sexual trauma, sexual coercion, and intimate partner violence plays a role, as well as biological, environmental, and coping factors. When families, social groups, government bodies, news media, or organizations disbelieve, disrespect, or minimize girls' and women's experiences of sexual trauma, this can cause a great deal of harm to mental health.
  • On top of that Women tend to report about a third less traumas they suffer than men do. This means women are at higher risk of PTSD even though they experience fewer traumatic life events than men on average. This is surprising and suggests there may be something about the type of trauma or women's reactivity that puts them at higher risk.

Help Us - Help You - Support Them

Effective Mentoring – Organizations (and Communities) – Employees suffering from PTSD

How can Effective Mentoring – Help Organizations (and Communities) – Support Employees suffering from PTSD

How can Effective Mentoring Help Organizations Support Employees Suffering from PTSD?

  1. Assign an Effective Mentor to the organization to assess and create the organization's customized PTSD Support System
  2. Build the PTSD Support System customized to the organization's needs
  3. Train new mentors inside the organization to participate in the PTSD Support System to become extraordinary mentors demonstrating proper mentoring strategies
  4. Increase employee awareness of the PTSD Support System to start the healing process
  5. Continually monitor, analyze, and augment the PTSD Support System for employees
  6. Seek addition organization and community involvement
  7. Demonstrate how the PTSD Support System helps to heal:
    • Employee (individual)
    • (workplace) Organization
    • Family
    • Community

We see situations all the time where organizations require sending employees to external professional resources. Those waiting lists are long, often waiting months for assistance, and the employee is then left to deal on their own with the trauma in the meantime.

This causes more stress for other employees, less productivity, and more leave time.

Bring in Effective Mentoring will assist in the healing process for the individual and the organization, creating an engaging, thriving workplace environment.

Effective Mentoring does not only assist with PTSD, but in all workplace stressors and challenges, creating an engaging, thriving workplace environment for all employees in all situations.

If you have any questions about how Effective Mentoring can create a more engaging, thriving workplace environment for your organization, contact me.


Doug Lawrence is the founder of TalentC® and the co-founder of the International Mentoring Community (IMC).

Doug Lawrence leads organizations to experience how mentoring will encourage workforce culture to flow in harmony (mentors), improve productivity from employees (mentees), reducing costly employee onboarding improving the bottom line (organizations).

Doug is an International Certified Mentor Practitioner (ICMP), an International Certified Mentor Facilitator (ICMF), and has obtained his Certificate of Achievement – Mentoring and his Certificate of Competence – Mentor from the International Mentoring Community (IMC).

Doug's Practice of Mentoring has resulted in his accumulation of 1,875 hours of mentoring (in person and virtual), 197 hours of speaking opportunities and 672 hours teaching others how to effectively mentor.

Doug is a volunteer mentor with the Sir Richard Branson Entrepreneur Program in the Caribbean and with the American Corporate Partners in the United States working with military personnel in their transition from military life to civilian life. Doug is currently working with researchers to examine the role of mentoring as a support for those struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). His experience in law enforcement coupled with working with people suffering from PTSD has afforded him a unique view of mentoring and PTSD.

Doug is an international speaker and author about all facets of Mentoring. He published "The Gift of Mentoring" in 2014 with his second book set to publish in 2020.

Doug works with organizations to establish mentoring programs, influence mentoring as a culture, and provides one-on-one direct mentoring for individuals of all backgrounds and levels globally.

Contact Doug directly to discover how mentoring can improve your organization.

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