Merck Manual

Please confirm that you are a health care professional

honeypot link

Overview of Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders

By

John W. Barnhill

, MD, New York-Presbyterian Hospital

Last full review/revision Apr 2020| Content last modified Apr 2020
Click here for Patient Education

Trauma- and stressor-related disorders involve exposure to a traumatic or stressful event. Two of the trauma-related disorders are acute stress disorder Acute Stress Disorder Acute stress disorder is a brief period of intrusive recollections occurring within 4 weeks of witnessing or experiencing an overwhelming traumatic event. (See also Overview of Trauma- and Stressor-Related... read more and posttraumatic stress disorder Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is recurring, intrusive recollections of an overwhelming traumatic event; recollections last > 1 month and begin within 6 months of the event. The pathophysiology... read more (PTSD). Acute stress disorder and PTSD are similar except that acute stress disorder typically begins immediately after the trauma and lasts from 3 days to 1 month, whereas PTSD lasts for > 1 month, either as a continuation of acute stress disorder or as a separate occurrence that begins up to 6 months after the trauma.

Previously, trauma- and stressor-related disorders were considered anxiety disorders Overview of Anxiety Disorders Everyone periodically experiences fear and anxiety. Fear is an emotional, physical, and behavioral response to an immediately recognizable external threat (eg, an intruder, a car spinning on... read more . However, they are now considered distinct because many patients do not have anxiety but instead have symptoms of anhedonia or dysphoria, anger, aggression, or dissociation.

Click here for Patient Education
NOTE: This is the Professional Version. CONSUMERS: Click here for the Consumer Version
Professionals also read

Test your knowledge

Delusional Disorder
Patients with delusional disorder and patients with schizophrenia share many similar symptoms. However, there are several distinct differences between the two disorders that are helpful in diagnosis. Of these differences, which of the following best distinguishes schizophrenia from delusional disorder? 
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID

Also of Interest

Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
TOP