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.

During this time, evidence of the development of dissociation, severe anxiety, and other symptoms can be observed. Individuals may experience guilt about simple everyday tasks and may discover that activities which were previously enjoyable have now either become impossible or very difficult to enjoy.

Other symptoms include feelings of being detached from one’s body, difficulty concentrating, experiencing the world as dreamlike or unreal, or dissociative amnesia—increasing difficulty remembering details about the traumatic 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
  • Horror
  • Fear
  • Helplessness

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)
  • Exhibit depersonalization
  • Experience numbing
  • Have a reduced or absent emotional response
  • Have a reduced awareness of one’s surroundings

Treatment of Acute Stress:

Many people with Acute Stress Disorder 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.

Treatment options for Acute Stress Disorder include:

  • Psychoeducation – educating about the disorder
  • Talking therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Medication such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Exposure therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Help securing clothing, accommodation, and food
  • Hospital for those at risk of suicide or putting others in danger

Diagnosing Acute Stress:

A minimum of one of each of the following symptom clusters of PTSD is present:

  • The traumatic event is experienced again and again (e.g., images, recurrent recollections, thoughts, dreams, flashback episodes, illusions, a feeling of reliving the event, or anxiety from exposure to reminders of the event).
  • Reminders of the trauma (e.g., people, places, activities) are avoided.
  • A hyperarousal response to stimuli similar to the trauma is experienced, for example poor concentration, difficulty sleeping, irritability, an exaggerated startle response, hypervigilance, and motor restlessness.

Outlook for Acute Stress Disorder:

It can be common for people with an ASD diagnosis to be diagnosed later with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. A PTSD diagnosis can be made when the symptoms continue for longer than four weeks and result in a disruptive amount of stress.

The chances of a PTSD diagnosis can be reduced with ASD treatment. While many diagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder cases can last for years, half last for fewer than six months.

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
  • Horror
  • Fear
  • Helplessness

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)
  • Exhibit depersonalization
  • Experience numbing
  • Have a reduced or absent emotional response
  • Have a reduced awareness of one’s surroundings

 Treatment for Acute Stress Disorder:

Many people with Acute Stress Disorder 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.

Treatment options for Acute Stress Disorder include:

  • Psychoeducation – educating about the disorder
  • Talking therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Medication such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Exposure therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Help securing clothing, accommodation, and food
  • Hospital for those at risk of suicide or putting others in danger

Diagnosing Acute Stress

A minimum of one of each of the following symptom clusters of PTSD is present:

  • The traumatic event is experienced again and again (e.g., images, recurrent recollections, thoughts, dreams, flashback episodes, illusions, a feeling of reliving the event, or anxiety from exposure to reminders of the event).
  • Reminders of the trauma (e.g., people, places, activities) are avoided.
  • A hyperarousal response to stimuli similar to the trauma is experienced, for example poor concentration, difficulty sleeping, irritability, an exaggerated startle response, hypervigilance, and motor restlessness.

Outlook for Acute Stress

It can be common for people with an ASD diagnosis to be diagnosed later with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. A PTSD diagnosis can be made when the symptoms continue for longer than four weeks and result in a disruptive amount of stress.

The chances of a PTSD diagnosis can be reduced with ASD treatment. While many diagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder cases can last for years, half last for fewer than six months.

Sources Psych Central | PATIENT – Treatments| HEALTHLINE – Symptoms | PSYCHOLOGYTODAY – Acute Stress Causes | VERYWELLMIND – Symptoms | PSYCHCENTRAL – Symptoms