Experiencing a traumatic event can contribute to a wide range of mental health conditions. There is a group of conditions that are specifically related to trauma – headlined by Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

PTSD is a serious illness which has the ability to cause significant distress. PTSD is an anxiety-based condition that is characterised by a traumatised reaction to being involved in or seeing a distressing or frightening event.

What many people don’t realise however, is that there are two types of PTSD, along with two other trauma-related conditions. In this article, we take a look at the various trauma-related conditions.

These conditions usually derive traumatic events

What is PTSD & Trauma-based conditions?

PTSD & Trauma-based conditions: PTSD and Trauma-based conditions refer to the various conditions that involve traumatic events or memories. They develop due to being involved in or seeing a distressing or frightening event. Whilst Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is the best-known condition in this area, other conditions exist too. These conditions can have a marked impact on an individual’s life. But with the right treatment, recovery is possible.

What are the different types of PTSD & Trauma-based conditions?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): This is an anxiety-based condition that can develop after a person either witnesses or experiences a traumatic event. The person will often relive the trauma through disturbing thoughts or feelings, flashbacks or nightmares. The individual may withdraw from others and avoid visiting certain places. Due to the symptoms, PTSD is a very difficult condition to cope with.

Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (Complex PTSD): This form of PTSD is linked to people who have experienced ongoing trauma, as opposed to one singular traumatic event. Their trauma has lasted for an extended time period. Symptoms are similar, with disturbed thoughts or feelings common, as are flashbacks and nightmares. Losing trust in others is a normal reaction for someone with Complex PTSD – which is very difficult to live with.

Acute Stress Disorder: Acute Stress Disorder is an anxiety-based condition that can develop after an individual either witnesses or experiences a traumatic event. The condition shares many similarities with PTSD, with symptoms like flashbacks, withdrawal and nightmares common. However, Acute Stress Disorder is time-bound, and only relates to the first month after a traumatic event. If feelings persist for over a month, then an individual will normally be diagnosed with PTSD.

Adjustment Disorder: Adjustment Disorder is an anxiety-based condition that occurs when an individual is unable to adjust to or cope with a specific, identifiable stressor. The way someone reacts to this stressor is seen as abnormal, and more severe than what would normally be expected. However, this disruption will not exceed six months, for Adjustment Disorder to be diagnosed. The condition can cause significant distress in the aftermath of the stressor.


There are certainly similarities between the various conditions in this category. However, there are some crucial differences.

For more of an explanation regarding the differences between PTSD and Complex PTSD, check out this article.

Fortunately, the intention with all four trauma-related conditions is a full recovery. With sufficient support and treatment, this is a strong possibility.

See Also

  1. PTSD & Trauma: Everything You Need to Know
  2. What Are The Different Types of PTSD & Trauma Conditions?
  3. What Are The Symptoms of PTSD & Trauma Conditions?
  4. What Are The Causes of PTSD & Trauma Conditions?
  5. How is PTSD & Trauma Conditions Diagnosed?
  6. How Can PTSD & Trauma Conditions be Treated?
  7. What is the Prognosis for PTSD & Trauma Conditions?
  8. 10 Tips for Living With PTSD & Trauma Conditions

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