Women are at higher risk of developing addictions after a traumatic event

  • This difference with men is due to multiple factors: sexual dimorphism of the brain, hormonal differences, or even greater revictimization as a socio-cultural factor.

Doctor Lara Grau, psychiatrist at Vall d’Hebron Hospital in Barcelona, ​​warned that women are more likely than men to develop Dependencies and others mental disorders after a traumatic event.

“A woman who has suffered a trauma or who has accumulated a series of adverse events over your lifetime, you are more likely to develop a alcohol and cocaine use disorder That a man. Also other mental disorders such as images of anxiety, major depression and dysfunctional traits personality, highlighting a borderline personality disorder”, reports the psychiatrist, who believes that these differences they are due to multiple factors, ranging from sexual dimorphism of the brain, through hormonal differences (which could explain a greater vulnerability of women), to the aforementioned greater revictimization as a socio-cultural factor.

This was pronounced in the context of the XVI Conference on Gender and Dual Pathology, organized by the Spanish Society for Dual Disorders (SEPD) and the Dual Disorders Foundation with the collaboration of the Catalan Society of Psychiatry and Mental Health. As he explained, scientific evidence shows that traumatic events have a “high potential” to generate psychiatric disorders and substance use disorders, especially in the case of women.

Indeed, according to the data provided by the psychiatrist and member of the executive committee of the SEPD, the prevalence traumatic events in the general population is between 6% and 33%. However, for women with dual pathology, which designates the clinical state of coexistence of an addiction and another mental disorder, the prevalence increases exponentially until it reaches between 50% and 80%. “At the end of the day, they are women vulnerable suffer from a mental disorder, which often leads them to have a substance use disorder, which in turn increases the chances of living traumatic events, the expert pondered.

two categories

International classifications group traumatic events into two categories. On the one hand, there are events in which a person Fear for your life or that of your loved ones such as wars or natural disasters. On the other hand, more recently considered as such, those adverse events that a person experiences during their lifetime and that throughout it they can generate the development of pathologies such as acute stress disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder, such as divorces and separations, bullying at work or school, diagnosis of chronic or terminal illnesses, child abuse or gender-based violence.

“The sexual abuse, child abuse and gender violence are the traumatic events most correlated with the development of substance use disorders and other mental disorders, particularly in women,” she said.

Related News

Also, according to the expert, the development of these disorders has a great influence on the number of traumatic events that a person faces. “At the end of the day, there are people who carry many traumatic events in their lives: they may have suffered sexual abuse, then a car accident, then the unexpected death of their father or their mother, a diagnosis of cancer, etc. », explains Grau, who highlights that Here too, women do less well, with an increased risk of revictimization.

“Men have more history of trauma, but less likely to revictimize than women, who tend to hang onto traumatic events more easily. For example, a woman who has experienced domestic violence is more likely to start a relationship with another abuser,” she says.

You may also like...