Trauma and stressor-related disorders

Trauma- and stressor-related disorders share exposure to a traumatic or stressful event as a diagnostic criterion.

The most common of these disorders are Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Acute Stress Disorder (ASD), and Adjustment Disorders (six distinct disorders, each with its own diagnostic code).

Although the symptoms of PTSD and ASD in particular are frightening and overwhelming, there has been significant success in treating them with different types of psychotherapy. This includes EMDR, an approach that utilizes the unique technique of bilateral dual attention stimulation. I have been trained in EMDR since 2008.

Up until the publication of the DSM-5 in 2013, PTSD and ASD were classified under the category of Anxiety Disorders. Adjustment Disorders comprised their own category. This change was made because the authors of the DSM-5 recognized that only some individuals with PTSD and ASD experienced mostly anxiety-based symptoms. In the section that has a more detailed discussion of PTSD, ASD, and Adjustment Disorders, you will see a variety of clinical symptoms within each disorder’s diagnostic criteria.