Female veterans are more likely to be diagnosed with depression after serving in a war zone, while men appear more prone to post-traumatic stress disorder.
The San Fransisco VA Medical Center study of 330,000 veterans, all of whom served between 2002 and 2008, found a clear divergence between male and female diagnoses.
Female veterans suffering from mental health problems were also, on average, younger than their male counterparts.
"In an era in which a greater proportion of women have served in the U.S. military in a much wider variety of military occupational specialties than ever before, our results contribute to a better understanding of the characteristics of women seeking VA health care," reads a press release from the study's researchers.
More women than ever are enlisting, with 14 percent of veterans expected to be female by 2014. But women are still less likely to see combat than men, which might explain why they suffer fewer ailments linked to traumatic experiences.
The military is struggling to effectively prevent and treat PTSD and other war-related mental health problems -- and address the differences in symptoms and vulnerability between men and women.
Women especially have contended with significant challenges in obtaining health benefits in the first place. Until recently, veterans were required to prove combat exposure before they could be treated for PTSD.