Many women experience at least one traumatic event during their lifetimes, which can have long-lasting effects on their well-being. Trauma can also trigger the development of mental illnesses, including acute stress disorder and PTSD. If you’re living with the aftermath of a traumatic event, learning more about these two conditions can equip you with the information you need to get an accurate diagnosis.
What Is Acute Stress Disorder?
ASD is a set of distressing symptoms that occur immediately or shortly after you experience or witness something traumatic, like a car accident or burglary.
The signs of acute stress disorder may disrupt your daily ability to function for up to a month, and typically include:
- Feelings of being anxious, irritable or on edge
- A sense of detachment from your life
- Difficulty recalling details of the event
- Intrusive, vivid nightmares or flashbacks
- Trouble concentrating
- Avoiding people, places or circumstances that remind you of the trauma
- A loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities
What Is PTSD?
PTSD is a chronic aftereffect of trauma that involves many of the same symptoms as ASD, but they persist for longer than a month and are more severe. Since PTSD affects brain regions that control emotional, behavioral and cognitive functions, it usually requires more intensive treatment, including talk therapy and EMDR.
While our earliest understanding of PTSD was in studies of “shell-shocked” male combat veterans returning from war, the American Psychological Association estimates that women may be twice as likely as men to develop PTSD. They also tend to experience these symptoms for longer periods and are more sensitive to reminders of their trauma.
Unaddressed PTSD can have serious physical and mental health problems that affect every facet of your life. For example, women struggling with untreated PTSD may experience frequent headaches, high blood pressure and digestive issues. You might also be more susceptible to developing anxiety, depression or a substance use disorder.
Trauma-Focused Treatment for Women
Trauma can undermine your self-worth, isolate you and rob you of the joy in your life. Trauma-focused treatment will teach you how to manage your symptoms with healthy coping skills. At Canyon Crossing, trained therapists and addiction treatment specialists can address the root causes of your mental and behavioral health challenges with a combination of compassion and evidence-based practices.
Canyon Crossing is a women’s-only Arizona recovery center focused on helping our clients live meaningful, fulfilling lives through dual-diagnosis treatment. While trauma can be challenging to overcome, we will equip you with the tools you need to do so. We offer a holistic approach to recovery that includes experiential therapies, educational workshops and a family program. To learn more, reach out to us today.