Overview of Trauma- & Stress-Related Disorders

Trauma- and stress-related disorders result from exposure to a traumatic or stressful event.

Specific disorders include acute stress disorder (ASD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

These disorders cause similar symptoms but differ in how long they last.

  • ASD:
    • Typically begins immediately after the event.
    • Lasts from 3 days to 1 month.
  • PTSD:
    • Lasts for more than 1 month.
    • It may develop as a continuation of acute stress disorder or develop separately up to 6 months after the event.

Although depression and anxiety are often prominent, individuals with trauma-related disorders often have a wide variety of symptoms that may not obviously seem related to the traumatic event.

For example, individuals may:

  • Act aggressively;
  • Be unable to experience pleasure; and/or
  • Feel restless, discontented, angry, numb, or disconnected from themselves and others.

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