Adjustment Disorder vs Acute Stress Disorder – Difference and Comparison

What is Adjustment Disorder?

Any individual can develop Adjustment Disorder. A person diagnosed with Adjustment Disorder tends to feel alone hopeless and sad. Crying is also one of the symptoms of Adjustment Disorder.

The other symptoms include fatigue, indigestion, withdrawn attitude and lack of concentration. A person experiencing Adjustment Disorder may also have low self-esteem and may also tend to have suicidal thoughts.

There are different types of Adjustment Disorder such as Adjustment Disorder with depressed mood, Adjustment Disorder with Anxiety, Adjustment Disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood, Adjustment Disorder with disturbance of conduct, Adjustment Disorder unspecified.

Recovering from Adjustment Disorder can be good and quick if it is treated properly. Adjustment Disorder does not last more than six months. However, there is no way to prevent the disorder. But it can be treated by therapy and medications.

What is Acute Stress Disorder?

Acute Stress Disorder is a stress-related condition that occurs within a month after a traumatic event has taken place in one’s life. The time it lasts varies from person to person, It can last as few as three days and can even extend up to a month.

After month doctors start diagnosing the patient for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The symptoms that are experienced by Acute Stress Disorder patients are the same that are experienced by PTSD patients.

After a traumatic event, any person can develop an ASD. But an individual is more at risk of experiencing ASD if he or she was diagnosed with ASD or PTSD earlier, or has a history of mental illness.

Having trouble sleeping being unable to sit still or being startled too easily is one of the factors that shows a potential increase in stress which can further develop into an Acute Stress Disorder.

There is no way of actually preventing Acute stress disorder. Doing the things that one is interested in can relieve one of the stresses, as it helps one to distract from the traumatic occurrence. Thus, helping to reduce the likelihood of Acute Stress Disorder.

Difference Between Adjustment Disorder and Acute Stress Disorder

  1. Difficulty in adjusting to the environment around oneself is called Adjustment Disorder, on the other hand dealing with a post-traumatic event is called Acute Stress Disorder.
  2. The various symptoms of adjustment disorder are anxiousness, fatigue, insomnia, and suicidal thoughts. The symptoms of Acute Stress Disorder have detached dissociated feelings, numbness, or derealization.
  3.  Adjustment disorders can be treated by support groups, interpersonal psychotherapy, and medications like benzodiazepines and gabapentin. Acute Stress Disorder can be treated by hypnotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy.
  4. The main causes of Adjustment Disorder can be major life changes, sudden disasters, money troubles and school-related problems. The main causes of Acute Stress Disorders are the death of loved ones, threats or even serious injuries to oneself.
  5. Adjustment Disorder can last up to six months whereas Acute Stress Disorder lasts from three days to a month.

Comparison Between Adjustment Disorder and Acute Stress Disorder

Parameters of ComparisonsAdjustment DisorderAcute Stress Disorder
MeaningAdjustment Disorder is when an individual experiences difficulty in adjusting to a particular environment.Acute Stress Disorder is a post-traumatic condition when a person might experience symptoms similar to PTSD.
SymptomsAnxiousness, suicidal thoughts, rebellious actions, crying, fatigue, insomniaFeeling numb, detached, dissociative amnesia, derealization
CausesMajor life changes, sudden disasters, money troubles, school-related problemsDeath, serious injury to oneself, sexual assault, natural disasters
TreatmentsTherapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, support groups, medicationHypnotherapy, psychiatric evaluation, Cognitive-behavioural therapy
TimeIf treated properly it does not last more than six monthsIt can last for at least three days and even last up to a month