Acute Stress Disorder

Acute Stress Disorder

Acute Stress Disorder

Each person will react in a different way to a traumatic life event such as watching a loved one die or being in a road traffic accident. Acute Stress Disorder can develop in such a person within one month of the event.

Symptoms of Acute Stress Disorder:

Acute Stress Disorder is characterized by a range of anxiety and other symptoms including:

  • Worry
  • Reduced emotional responsiveness
  • Excessive guilt and a lack of enjoyment even from activities that were previously pleasurable

People with Acute Stress Disorder can also:

  • Feel detached from their bodies
  • Experience the world as unreal or dreamlike
  • Have difficulty recalling specific details of the traumatic event (dissociative amnesia)

Diagnosing Acute Stress:

For a doctor to make a diagnosis of Acute Stress Disorder, you must have at least one of the three main symptom groups people with PTSD have:

  • Reliving the traumatic event over and over through:

    • Recollections
    • Images
    • Thoughts
    • Dreams
    • Illusions
    • Flashback Episodes
    • Distress when triggered by reminders of the event

  • Avoiding any reminders of the traumatic event — places, people, activities.

  • Becoming hyper alert when triggered by anything that’s a reminder of the trauma, shown by:

    • Difficulty sleeping
    • Irritability
    • Poor concentration
    • Hyperawareness of external stimuli
    • Illusions
    • Flashback Episodes
    • Exaggerated reactions to being startled

Treatment for Acute Stress Disorder:

Treatment options for Acute Stress Reaction include:

  • Psychoeducation
  • Talking therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Medication such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

Many people with Acute Stress Reaction can go on to develop full-blown PTSD. For a diagnosis of PTSD to be made, symptoms must persist for at least one month, cause considerable distress, and impair normal functioning — occupationally, socially, and otherwise.

Symptoms of Acute Stress Disorder:

Acute Stress Disorder is characterized by a range of anxiety and other symptoms including:

  • Worry
  • Reduced emotional responsiveness
  • Excessive guilt and a lack of enjoyment even from activities that were previously pleasurable

People with Acute Stress Disorder can also:

  • Feel detached from their bodies
  • Experience the world as unreal or dreamlike
  • Have difficulty recalling specific details of the traumatic event (dissociative amnesia)

Diagnosing Acute Stress

For a doctor to make a diagnosis of Acute Stress Disorder, you must have at least one of the three main symptom groups people with PTSD have:

  • Reliving the traumatic event over and over through:

    • Recollections
    • Images
    • Thoughts
    • Dreams
    • Illusions
    • Flashback Episodes
    • Distress when triggered by reminders of the event

  • Avoiding any reminders of the traumatic event — places, people, activities.

  • Becoming hyper alert when triggered by anything that’s a reminder of the trauma, shown by:

    • Difficulty sleeping
    • Irritability
    • Poor concentration
    • Hyperawareness of external stimuli
    • Illusions
    • Flashback Episodes
    • Exaggerated reactions to being startled

 Treatment for Acute Stress Disorder:

Treatment options for Acute Stress Reaction include:

  • Psychoeducation
  • Talking therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Medication such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

Many people with Acute Stress Reaction can go on to develop full-blown PTSD. For a diagnosis of PTSD to be made, symptoms must persist for at least one month, cause considerable distress, and impair normal functioning — occupationally, socially, and otherwise.

Source Psych Central