Acute Stress Disorder (ASD)
ASD aligns with the same type of causal events that are featured in PTSD, a significant traumatic event that one was exposed to either directly or indirectly, and with the same types of symptoms, but with the distressing symptoms lasting less than one month.
Adjustment disorder is characterized by an inability to cope with or adjust to a significant life event. A single highly stressful event, or a series of stressful events may cause so much emotional distress that it becomes difficult to function normally in daily life. Symptoms may include feelings of being overwhelmed, neglecting responsibilities, loss of appetite, excess worry, insomnia, and withdrawing from friends and family. Adjustment disorders may last up to six months in duration.
Trauma and a Co-Occurring Substance Use Disorder
When an individual has both a trauma disorder and a substance use disorder, a dual diagnosis is present. It is common for individuals with a trauma disorder to access the effects of alcohol and benzodiazepines as a method of self-medicating the symptoms away. Unfortunately, as tolerance to the effects of the substance increases it takes higher levels of consumption of the substance to achieve the desired effects, and addiction can develop.
A dual diagnosis complicates the overall treatment picture, as both the psychiatric issue and the addiction will need to be addressed and treated. A dual diagnosis treatment provider will have the expertise and the appropriate mental health professionals on staff to manage and treat the dual diagnosis. Both the trauma disorder and the substance use disorder should be treated simultaneously to obtain a successful recovery result.