Difference Between PTSD and ASD (With Table)

PTSD and ASD are both mental conditions characterized by intense fear, terror, and anxiety. PTSD and ASD are extremely similar conditions that affect a person’s ability to interact with others around them. However, they are different from each other in many other aspects.

PTSD vs ASD

The difference between PTSD and ASD is that PTSD is a condition where the patient has a traumatic experience, such as being physically attacked or witnessing a crime. On the other hand, an individual with an Acute Stress Disorder experiences difficulty communicating with others due to their lack of social skills.

PTSD is a mental disorder that may develop following a traumatic event. The individual will experience intense feelings of terror and helplessness and will go to great lengths to avoid the circumstances that brought on the original trauma. PTSD is typically characterized by several types of memories, such as flashbacks or nightmares.

ASD is a developmental disorder characterized by difficulties in communication as well as social interactions. A person with ASD may have difficulty interpreting the social cues of others. The development of ASD has five phases that are Intrusion, avoidance, negative alterations, marked physiological reactivity, and recovery.

Comparison Table Between PTSD and ASD

Parameters of ComparisonPTSDASD
DefinitionPTSD is a condition where the patient has a traumatic experience such as being physically attacked.ASD develops reactions that will affect the ability of the individual to be social due to extreme traumatic experiences.
AcronymPost Traumatic Stress Disorder.Acute Stress Disorder
PeriodPTSD development takes time.ASD develops within hours or days of exposure to an extremely traumatic event.
DiagnosisOne test that is often used to detect PTSD is called the CAPS (Cluster A and Cluster B) Assessment. It is diagnosed based on symptoms.
Recovery Recovery of an individual’s functioning takes time or cannot be cured rapidly.Recovery of an individual’s functioning returns to normal over time.

What is PTSD?

PTSD is typically characterized by several types of memories, such as flashbacks or nightmares. These memories will cause intense terror and anxiety but rarely cause physical attacks. PTSD is a serious disorder that can occur after any type of trauma, including the following:

  • natural disaster
  • car crash or vehicular accident
  • being held captive or taken hostage by someone else
  • a violent attack, mugging, or robbery
  • seeing others injured or killed or witnessing something that would be extremely upsetting to most people

A person suffering from PTSD may have nightmares or flashbacks of memories of a traumatic event that come back as a picture or a story. Moreover, they may also have a very strong emotional reaction when hearing a noise, seeing an image, smelling something, or feeling something that reminds them of the trauma. These reactions can be so strong that they cause serious problems with everyday life.

For a person suffering from PTSD, it is important to work closely with a doctor and let the doctor know that the problems, so that doctor can diagnose PTSD by taking a brief medical history and doing some tests. One test that is often used to detect PTSD is called the CAPS (Cluster A and Cluster B) Assessment. This test includes questions on how long ago the trauma happened and how severe it was.

 What is ASD?

Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) is a trauma and stressor-related disorder that can develop within hours or days of exposure to an extremely traumatic event. The development of ASD has five phases that are Intrusion, avoidance, negative alterations, marked physiological reactivity, and recovery.

  • Intrusion is re-experiencing the events.
  • Avoidance is the effort that was made to avoid thoughts, feelings, and conversations associated with the traumatic event. Moreover, The individuals in the agony of ASD will often also try to avoid activities, places, or people that arouse recollections of the event.
  • Negative alterations in cognitions and mood are associated with the trauma.
  • Marked physiological reactivity to individuals, places, and things associated with the trauma. This may be seen in the activation of the sympathetic nervous system, for example, an increased heart rate and activation of the HPA axis such as cortisol increase or both.
  • Recovery of an individual’s functioning returns to normal over time.

ASD may have nightmares about a traumatic event that they experienced before the condition developed. Moreover, the individual may appear detached from their environment or detached from other people in a social situation.

Main Differences Between PTSD and ASD

  1. PTSD is a condition where the patient has a traumatic experience such as being physically attacked, whereas ASD develops reactions that will affect the ability of the individual to be social due to extreme traumatic experiences.
  2. The acronym of PTSD is well-known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, whereas the acronym of ASD is well-known as Acute Stress Disorder.
  3. PTSD development takes time, whereas ASD develops within hours or days of exposure to an extremely traumatic event.
  4. One test that is often used to detect PTSD is called the CAPS (Cluster A and Cluster B) Assessment, whereas ASD is on the basis of symptoms.
  5. Recovery of an individual’s functioning takes time or cannot be cured rapidly for PSTD, whereas ASD recovery of an individual’s functioning returns to normal over time.

Conclusion

PTSD and ASD are very similar conditions that affect a person’s ability to interact with others around them, yet they are different too. A mental health professional can help and understand what happened to trigger PTSD and ASD. However, in some cases, they even develop treatments for it. They can also work to take steps to prevent or control the problems.

Individuals with ASD can be diagnosed with PTSD or non-PTSD, that is, trauma-exposed individuals who do not meet the DSM-IV criteria for PTSD without suffering from ASD. However, cases of ASD occurring in the context of PTSD are more common than cases where the individual suffering from PTSD does not develop ASD.

References

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207144.2013.729377
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0890856709611047
  3. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0886260509354587
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