Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD)

Signs and symptoms of ASD and PTSD

ASD and PTSD share the same symptoms, but they are different in terms of the symptoms' duration. Below are the 4 types of symptoms:
1. Re-experiencing the trauma through flashbacks, vivid memories, or nightmares
2. Avoiding reminders of the event
3. Negative changes in mood and thoughts (e.g. feeling low or numb, no longer enjoying their favourite activities and hobbies, feeling detached from reality)
4. Increased anxiety, feeling on edge, jumpy

Diagnosis of ASD vs. PTSD

ASD: Diagnosed within days or weeks after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Symptoms begin within a month of occurrence of the event and may last anywhere from 3 days to 1 month.
PTSD: Diagnosed if symptoms are experienced, or continue so, more than 1 month following the traumatic event. PTSD may occur after a single event, or after experiencing repeated traumas over long period of time (e.g. war veterans, police officers).

Causes of ASD or PTSD

Exposure to a traumatic event can be:
1. Direct - personally experiencing or witnessing the event, or
2. Indirect - learning or hearing of distressing or life-threatening event that happened to someone close to them
Some examples of traumatic events include car accidents, sexual assault, physical attacks or threats, war, terrorism or torture, natural disasters, death or serious injury.

What to do if you're experiencing the symptoms


Talk to someone you trust and let them know you need help


Make an appointment with your GP, ask a trusted friend or family to come along


Write down how you feel and how your life is being impacted

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