Acute Stress Disorder vs. PTSD

how trauma affects women

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
  • Insomnia
  • 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.

Benefits of Residential AddictionTreatment

You cannot heal in the same environment that made you sick. This is the philosophy behind our residential addiction treatment program. At Canyon Crossing, women learn to live life on life’s terms while staying in a safe, substance-free setting. This gives our clients the space and peace needed for lasting recovery.
Our residential program combines high-accountability sober living arrangements with first-rate clinical care. While staying in our homes, clients participate in process groups, one-on-one counseling sessions, and hands-on learning opportunities. They also receive ongoing training; in these meetings, life skills like financial management and conflict resolution are imparted. All of this happens with 24/7 encouragement, guidance, and supervision from our clinical team.
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