Difference Between Adjustment Disorder and Acute Stress Disorder

We are stressed by lots of events that are happening around us. No matter how hard we try to run away it will follow and haunt us.


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There are many types of stress disorders available and the two most commonly discussed ones among them are Adjustment Disorder and the other is Acute Stress Disorder. 

Adjustment Disorder vs Acute Stress Disorder

The difference between Adjustment Disorder and Acute Stress Disorder is that as an adjustment disorder people will begin to feel stress in whatever events or activities they do. In Acute Stress Disorder, people will feel lonely and will not be in the mood to speak with others. The symptoms of adjustment disorder are behavior and emotions. The symptoms of acute stress disorder are the depression that will occur due to our surroundings. 

Adjustment Disorder vs Acute Stress Disorder

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Adjustment Disorder is a type of stress that we should not ignore when the moment we sense it.

We should seek professional and medical help in this case because if it exceeds more than six months then it will lead to chronic disorder which will be very difficult to cure. People call this an emotional disability as well.

Acute Stress Disorder is one of the stresses that will happen when you are not feeling or mood in the speak to others. It is not something worse when you are in the early stage because a light medication and treatment will help you to get rid of it.

But when you avoid speaking it with others and try to run away from it then it will haunt you.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAdjustment DisorderAcute Stress Disorder
DefinitionAdjustment disorder is stress that happens in people’s life due to stressful events or activities.Acute Stress Disorder will lead to depression for at least a month or less and the symptoms will indicate you
SymptomsBehavior and Maladaptive emotionsDepressed due to the surroundings
Stress TypeDivorce or job lossTrauma and natural disasters
TreatmentEither psychotherapy or light medicinesBoth psychotherapy and medicines
Common inChildren and teenagers peopleWomen with trauma

What is Adjustment Disorder?

Adjustment Disorder is stress that is caused due to a stressful event or some change in a person’s life. This is considered to be unhealthy for human life. This will happen within three months and you can notice the changes within that period.

If you have symptoms more than six months then it is considered to be a chronic adjustment disorder.

When you are feeling sad and not enjoying things in your life while you usually enjoy them then you are having adjustment stress disorder. There are lots of symptoms that will indicate that you have an adjustment disorder.

People who are always feeling stressed or experiencing anxiety then they are having a high risk of adjustment disorder. When you have trouble sleeping and lack concentration in whatever you are doing then it’s time that you should consult a doctor. 

When the moment you sense you are having an adjustment disorder then don’t hesitate and lock yourself up in a room. Try to visit a doctor and seek professional help. People who are in the first stage can easily get cured.

If you are feeling difficulty in sharing it with your friends and families then a stranger will help you by listening to your story. These are people who will not judge us by listening. But the best thing to do is by visiting a doctor.

adjustment disorder

What is Acute Stress Disorder?

This disorder happens due to some dysfunctional events or traumatic events. This type of disorder will last for a month or even less than a month.

If you think you are having it for more than a month then that is called to be a posttraumatic disorder which is considered to be the worst and you should consider professional help from people.

You can find this with the help of some symptoms that happens in your life. If you keep on avoiding these symptoms then it will lead to loss of your memory.

When you have this disorder, you will often get angry with people and have a low mood in whatever activity you do in life. You always feel to be alone without people surrounding you or not listening to any of their talks.

You will have non-stop recurring dreams from your past and flashbacks of events.

In some cases, this will be with you for three days and in worst cases, it will be there for at least a month. If you are in the first stage taking proper help from doctors and medicines will help you to heal faster.

The more you ignore the more it will be dangerous for your life and this will lead to some other complications in the future. To get rid of this faster speaking to a person who you think would be better might help. But the best thing to do is visiting a doctor.

acute stress disorder

Main Differences Between Adjustment Disorder and Acute Stress Disorder

  1. For people having Adjustment Disorder they will start to get stressed in whatever activities or events that they do in their life. In Acute Stress Disorder, people will feel lonely and avoid communicating with others.
  2. The symptoms that will help you to find adjustment disorders are behavior and maladaptive emotions. On the other hand, the symptoms that will help you to find acute stress disorder are depression that happens due to your surroundings.
  3. Some of the stress types of adjustment disorder are divorce or not having a job. But for acute stress disorder is trauma and natural disasters.
  4. The treatment that you can do for adjustment disorder is by following either psychotherapy or taking medications. But in acute stress disorder, you have to take both.
  5. Adjustment Disorder can be found commonly in children and teenage people. But acute stress disorder can be found commonly in women.
Difference Between Adjustment Disorder and Acute Stress Disorder
  1. https://journals.lww.com/practicalpsychiatry/Fulltext/2001/01000/Adult_Adjustment_Disorder__A_Review_of_Its_Current.4.aspx
  2. https://www.psychiatrist.com/jcp/trauma/ptsd/acute-stress-disorder-predictor-posttraumatic-stress/
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