How Do Trauma Symptoms Manifest Differently in Men?

The differences between men and women have fueled many a bestselling book and stand-up comedy career.  But there’s a far more serious side to this topic.  For example, both mental and physical diseases can manifest differently between the sexes.

A man sits huddled next to a window. Learn more about how trauma therapy in Arcadia, AZ can offer support in overcoming isolation by searching “trauma counseling Phoenix AZ” or contacting a therapist in Arcadia, AZ today.Case in point: trauma and its myriad symptoms.  When it comes to managing something like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it’s crucial to consider the unique ways it can impact a man or a woman.  In fact, it is an essential part of any trauma treatment plan.

Trauma and PTSD

Whether you experience it, witness it, or both, a terrifying event can have a traumatizing effect on you. These events could involve:

  • Sexual, physical, or emotional abuse
  • Injury or illness
  • War, terrorism, or criminal actions
  • Natural disaster
  • Divorce, separation, abandonment
  • Job loss, financial crisis

There are many causes of trauma and the resulting symptoms can be debilitating.  In general, PTSD manifests in nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, depression, social withdrawal, feeling emotionally numb, intrusive thoughts, along with a wide range of physical issues.  Of course, as touched on above, these symptoms can vary depending on sex.

Why Trauma Symptoms Can Manifest Differently in Men and Women

PTSD impacts about 10 percent of the U.S. population.  Women, in general, face more trauma than men and will more often be diagnosed with PTSD.  However, men are less likely to immediately seek help.  It’s not unusual for them to internalize the situation.  They blame themselves and don’t want to look weak or needy to others. This delay has a negative overall impact when it comes to managing this challenging condition.

Women tend to more often face trauma at a younger age while men are more likely to be impacted later in life.  For men, this is partly due to male-dominated jobs and careers like military and police work.

A man in military attire holds his head in his hands while sitting on a couch. Learn how trauma therapy in Arcadia, AZ can offer support in coping with PTSD by contacting a therapist in Arcadia, AZ, and other services today. Men are far more conditioned to keep their feelings to themselves.  As a result, it’s not always easy to identify trauma symptoms unless they manifest in extreme ways.  But whether or not a particular man is comfortable with talking openly about emotions, there are physiological factors at play.

How Biology Impacts Trauma Symptoms in Men

1.  The part of the brain that creates and stores memories — the hippocampus — shrinks in size when people undergo trauma.  This size decrease is greater in men, resulting in more cognitive impairment and memory loss.

2.  Men with PTSD are also more likely to display paranoia and impulsivity. This is due to the fact that the male hyper-arousal system is more sensitive.

Symptomatic Differences Between Men and Women

Generally speaking, women present the following symptoms more often:

  • Mood disorders
  • Emotional numbness
  • A tendency toward avoidance
  • Anxiety
  • Self-blame
  • Shame

Needless to say, men can also show the above signs and outcomes. However, research has identified the following trauma symptoms as more prevalent in men:

  • Paranoia, impulsivity, memory loss, and cognitive impairment
  • Irritability
  • Substance use disorders
  • An exaggerated startle response

Getting the Specific Help You Need

A person with a clipboard and pen gesturing to a man sitting across from him. This could represent the support that trauma therapy in Arcadia, AZ can offer. Learn more about how a therapist in Arcadia, AZ can offer support by searching “trauma counseling phoenix az” today.By now, it should be clear that, while there are obvious biological differences between men and women, PTSD symptoms are frequently shaped by conditioning.  The unfortunate reality is that men may exacerbate the impact of traumatic events by repressing emotions and refusing to seek help.  Therefore, perhaps the most important difference between men and women with PTSD is how they most often deal with it. Men must be encouraged to ask for help.  Working directly with a skilled men’s counselor trained in trauma therapy is a  sign of strength as well as a path toward healing.

Begin Trauma Therapy in Phoenix, AZ

Our trauma and PTSD therapists are here to support you and help construct a more productive path forward. We are happy to offer support from our Phoenix, AZ-based practice and across the state. We offer a 20-minute complimentary phone consultation to allow you time to talk to us and better understand how we can help you specifically. To start your therapy journey, please follow these simple steps:

  1. Contact Crossroads Counseling for a complimentary 20-minute phone consult
  2. Meet with a Phoenix trauma therapist
  3. Start coping with trauma in a more healthy way.

We understand that seeking trauma therapy can be a nerve-racking decision, which is why we offer a complimentary 20-minute phone consultation. Our Counseling Centers are located throughout the valley with locations in Phoenix, Anthem, Scottsdale. and online throughout all of Arizona. Call us at 623-680-3486,text 623-688-5115, or email

If you are in need of intensive trauma therapy click here to learn more about the Beyond Trauma Intensive Counseling Program.