Research has shown that childhood trauma increases the risk of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) in adulthood, especially in women. This has raised a lot of questions because of the biological factors that correlate to unknown areas in genetics and relations to women and men brains. The University of Missouri has proposed a solution that could better help doctors understand the impact of early trauma on women as well as how their traumatic childhoods develop PTSD. The study begins to describe how women’s stress response system diminishes the ability to fight stress later in life. The model shown also states that biologically some women are more resilient to PTSD than other women. Yang Li, who has a postdoctoral fellow in MU’s Sinclair School of Nursing, says that there are two hormones that control stress, cortisol and oxytocin. Cortisol is what floods the body when a stressful event occurs and oxytocin is the hormone that brings the cortisol back to regular levels. This system breaks down when stressful events lead to trauma. This causes the cortisol levels to unchecked and the body at a higher stress level.
Women with the dissociative form of PTSD have alterations in both hormones, causing events to leave more of a trauma filled memory. Throughout Li’s research her findings always looped back to childhood. Childhood trauma affects the women’s body in a more intense way. This causes trauma to reoccur more often and at a higher stress level.
This article sparked my interest because I know a few men with PTSD and the title of the article was focused to women. I find it interesting how different men and women truly are when it comes to hormones. After reading this article, I can relate to certain areas. I have had stressful times in my childhood that I can connect to todays stress even though I don’t have PTSD. This article helped me understand stress on a hormonal level that I hadn’t understood before. I relate this to my personal learning network from the past. This reminds me of the hormones that are released when you are hungry and full. Ghrelin is the hormone that is released when you are hungry, while leptin is the signal that allows you to feel full. Making these connections throughout my personal learning network allows me to expand my knowledge and understand health as a whole. I am happy I found this article