This video discusses the differences between Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Both disorders require a qualifying stressor (trauma) according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). This traumatic event must be directly experienced, witnessed, occur to a close friend or family member, or involve repeated exposure to aversive details of a trauma.
PTSD is characterized by the developing of specific symptoms after a qualifying stressor. The general symptom categories include intrusion, avoidance, negative mood, and arousal. Specific symptoms include recurrent memories, recurrent dreams, dissociative reactions, avoiding thoughts, avoiding feelings, avoiding memories, avoiding external reminders, negative beliefs, memory difficulties, negative emotions, cognitive distortions, hypervigilance, self-destructive behavior, sleep disturbance, difficulty concentrating, recklessness, and anger outbursts. The criteria must be met for at least one month. ASD has a similar set of symptom criteria, however, the symptoms must be present for at least three days but no more than one month. After a traumatic event, individuals who are assessed for ASD may go on to develop PTSD. About 80% of individuals who are diagnosed with the full criteria of ASD will develop PTSD. About 60% of individuals who have subclinical ASD will develop PTSD. About 4% of individuals who do not qualify for ASD will develop PTSD.