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What is PTS vs. PTSD?

PTS is not a mental disorder, but PTSD is recognized as a mental health disorder. There are a couple of differences between them as the length and time differ. PTS is also referred to as a new term for the treatment of post-traumatic stress as adding the D of disorder might offend some people who have been struggling with their mental health.

Graphics showing the difference b/w PTS and PTSD

Post-traumatic Stress 

PTS is a common, normal, and often helpful reaction to stressful or traumatic events. PTS, or Post-traumatic Stress, can be caused by both expected and unexpected events, like car accidents, military conflict, or being held captive. 

Almost everyone who goes through something scary will show signs of post-traumatic stress. When we are under a lot of stress, our brains are hard-wired to tell our bodies to tense up, breathe faster, and pump more blood. This is the “fight-or-flight” response, which gets the body ready to deal with a threat or challenge in the environment by sending more blood and oxygen to the muscles and stopping things like digestion that aren’t necessary. 

The fight-or-flight response is normal during and after a traumatic event, so you don’t need to worry as it is a normal reaction of your body. Getting medication management is also integral to treating your post-traumatic stress to the fullest if it becomes a disorder.

Signs and Symptoms of PTS

If you have post-traumatic stress, your hands might shake, and physical symptoms like tremors, an increase in heart rate, your heart might beat fast, you might start to sweat, and you might feel anxious and scared. 

After a traumatic event, you might not want to do it again or be afraid to, have bad dreams about what happened, or feel nervous when you’re in a situation that reminds you of the event. A child can also get flashbacks of a nightmare or an incident they have gone through. Even though PTS symptoms can be awful at times, they usually go away after a few days and don’t change your life much in the long run. 

If you have PTS, you might be more careful in situations that could be dangerous in the future. When a natural disaster occurs, the body responds to it as usual. Both PTSD and PTS have similar symptoms elsewhere, and PTS is a mental health condition. When you feel that problem persists, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) talk therapy can help.

Treatment for PTS

Post-traumatic stress doesn’t need to be treated because it’s not a mental disorder, and most of the symptoms will get better or go away in a month. But you should see a doctor if your symptoms are bothersome, if they are getting in the way of your relationships, job, or school, or if you are acting irresponsibly by drinking or using drugs to deal with your problems. 

PTS is something that occurs tentatively during one month of experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. The effective treatment for PTS can be yoga therapy, meditation, and relaxation; behavioral therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy are the best treatment.

Some Key Points

  • PTS symptoms are common after a military deployment, but they may get better or go away in a month.
  • PTSD symptoms are worse, last longer, and can happen more than once a month.
  • When PTSD starts, it can also get in the way of routine things.
  • Most people with PTS do not go on to have PTSD. PTSD can happen even if there were no PTS at first, which is common among Veterans.
  • PTS doesn’t need medical help unless the symptoms are very bad. But, if you want to keep your symptoms away from getting worse, you might benefit from mental health care.
  • PTSD is a recognized disorder in medicine, so a doctor should treat it, but it gets better over time in PTS.

Difference Between PTS and PTSD

People often mix up PTSD and PTS for each other (PTSD). Even though these two diseases have similar names and some other similarities, their symptoms, length of time, and treatments are all different. PTS and PTSD are marked by fear, avoidance, discomfort, anxiety, and bad dreams. One benefit of PTS is that it can make a person more aware of how they act in stressful situations, which can help them change it.

PTS doesn’t always need treatment. Symptoms will get better or go away on their own in a few days to a few weeks. PTS is not a mental illness, but if you have symptoms that don’t go away on their own or get in the way of your daily life, you should see a counselor. Mental health problems are diagnosed with clinical trials.

PTS is a common reaction to something scary or stressful. Some people who have been in an auto accident or had surgery may show signs of PTS. PTS sets off the “fight-or-flight response, which makes our bodies tense up and our breathing speed up.

Experts say that when you almost get into an accident on the road, that is known for being dangerous. You can change your path to stay away from the road. You might even feel uneasy when you drive the same route. In the future, you might have a dream about an accident you avoided. After a few days, though, these thoughts start to go away.  You can get intensive outpatient treatment if you assume that problem is not that much bigger.

It can be upsetting at first when something stressful happens, but the stress goes away after a few days or weeks. There is no need to get treatment, but anything that calms you down, like deep breathing, yoga, painting, or exercise, may help you feel better and speed up the healing process. On the other hand, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is different and more complex.

PTSD Doesn’t Occur for Everyone

Since PTS is a physical reaction, everyone who has been through a traumatic event has it, but not everyone has PTSD. Since we are all unique, our experiences can vary. This is because different people look at the same event from different points of view.

 Since people have different backgrounds and bodies, the effect is never the same. The effects of PTS only last for a short time after that; your life goes back to normal as the use of post-traumatic stress has become the term after the disorder, or “D,” is excluded. 

There is no shame in seeking treatment as stress is part of everyone’s life, and getting treatment for it is something to be proud of.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between PTS and PTSD?

When it is PTSD, it gets a clinical diagnosis, but PTS is not a clinical term. Instead, it shrinks the stigma associated with long-lasting disorders.

Is PTSD now called PTS?

When it is about treating Veterans, it has been referred to as PTS as it helps to encourage them to get treated, but in diagnosis, it is known as PTSD.

What is PTS psychology?

PTS has evolved with the psychology of veterans who have had flashbacks of being in the field. These are natural responses from one body to feel such a situation.

Get Treatment for PTS 

At the Recovery Team, our goal is to facilitate our clients with all their anxiety problems. It takes courage to go to therapy when you need to for your mental health. Let us help you reach mental health by providing personalized, effective mental health care such as EMDR Therapy

Start the admission process and know how we can meet your specific needs. You can get admission at our partial hospitalization too if PTS has not become worse. Our heroes are our pride as they strived in the combat zones to protect the whole nation going through trauma.   Moreover, our sister facility, The Haven Detox, offers a cooperative heroes program in which the medical staff is well-prep to give you extensive care as the veteran’s customized plans are there. 

Call us and get in touch with us immediately to learn more about our veteran program and treatment options; dial (800) 817-1247.