Women are more than twice as likely as men to suffer from PTSD. Studies are underway to find out why.

Women are more than twice as likely as men to suffer from PTSD. Studies are underway to find out why.

In 1991, Karestan Koenen was a recent college graduate and Peace Corps volunteer who arrived in a village in Niger eager to help local women start small businesses. When her sister came to visit during Christmas, the two decided to travel north to Agadez, a city in the Sahara.

There, on the morning of Dec. 27, two male traders stopped by, trying to sell them jewelry. Koenen’s sister went to the market with one of men to have a look. While she was gone, the second man grabbed Koenen, held her down and raped her.

Traumatized by the experience, Koenen was medically evacuated to the United States two days later and resigned from the Peace Corps. She returned to New Jersey to live with her parents, but the assault continued to haunt her. Increasingly, she became depressed.

A psychologist diagnosed Koenen with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, a condition triggered by a traumatic, scary or dangerous event, and, for reasons still unclear, seems to disproportionately afflict women. These assaults can include combat, sexual assault, gun violence, accidents, natural disasters, even the death of a loved one…


Lebanon’s failure to prepare ignites anger over wildfires

Up in smoke. People inspect the remains of cars and shops that were burned in a wildfire in the town of Damour, 15km south of Beirut, October 15. (AP)

Light rain appears to have moderated the spread of wildfires that threatened Lebanon with one of its worst natural disasters in years.

Wildfires occur regularly in Lebanon but Raymond Khattar, director-general of Lebanon’s Civil Defence, described the more than 100 blazes that recently affected the country as the worst to have hit Lebanon in decades.

Riot police equipped with water cannons were called to the Mount Lebanon region after fire engines in the area became overwhelmed. Lebanon’s National News agency reported that soldiers from the United Nations’ Lebanon mission joined civil defence volunteers to fight the blazes.

Air fire crews from Cyprus, Greece and Jordan, with others expected from Europe, headed to Lebanon to help battle the fires. However, three of Lebanon’s firefighting helicopters were unable to be used in emergency efforts because of a lack of funds for maintenance, prompting widespread criticism…


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