Are You Recovering From Trauma, or Do You Have PTSD?


It’s common to experience emotional distress after a traumatic event like a car crash, the death of a loved one, or a natural disaster. And mental health symptoms that may occur post trauma could feel so intense you might wonder if you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

But while most adults will experience a traumatic event at some point in their lives, only a fraction will develop PTSD as a result, according to the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS).

People can also experience what clinicians and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) call acute stress disorder (ASD) — PTSD and ASD are not mutually exclusive.

Understanding the mental health impacts of trauma can be tricky. So we asked experts to weigh in for more clarity.


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