Acute Stress Disorder Everything you need to know about disorder

These are but few examples of traumatic events, which can actually lead to the birthing of Acute Stress Disorder.

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What is Acute Stress Disorder?

Acute Stress Disorder can be defined as an anxiety disorder characterized by a cluster of dissociative and anxiety symptoms occurring  days or weeks after a psychological painful event. This can also be said to be the behavioral upheaval that develops within a month of exposure to extreme trauma.     

What are the events that can lead to Acute Stress Disorder?

These are but few examples of traumatic events, which can actually lead to the birthing of Acute Stress Disorder.

1. Witnessing a death scenario.

2. Witnessing or experiencing a serious accident.

3. Rape

4. Combat

5. Natural disasters

Also, it should be emphasized that the anxiety symptoms suffered by a patient of ASD, normally occurs within one month.

What Are The Symptoms of Acute Stress Disorder?                                              

1. Fear and Horror:  When a picture of the traumatic events pops up in the mind eyes of the patient, a déjà vu is experienced.


2. Daze and De-realization: This happens when the patient finds it difficult to bring clarity to his surroundings. Everything seems to be veiled; reality loses its authenticity. And a total reduction in awareness is experienced.          

3. Depersonalization: This is the feeling of losing self awareness. Here, like in number (2), thoughts and emotions become unreal to the patient.


4. Dissociative Amnesia: This is the inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma.

5. Negative Mood: When this is experienced, the patient gets stuck in sadness.   

What Are The Reactions to Acute Stress Disorder?

1. Physical Reaction:  Here the patient sleeps beyond the average time frame. And it can also happens that the reverse  might be the case.

2. Social Reaction: This can be easily observed, when the patient loses interest in anything that has to do with pleasure. Be it partying or congregating.

3. Cognitive Reaction: Here the patient finds it extremely difficult in concentrating and focusing on task.


4. Emotional Reaction:  

The three types of Emotional Reactions to Acute Stress Disorder are:

1. Specific Phobia: When this is experienced, unreasonable fear and panic arises due to some specific situation.

2. Anxiety: This is born when patient starts experiencing persistent and strong feeling of being tensed.

3. Anger: Here the patient expresses hot temperedness, and respond with annoyance to jokes and slight insult.

How to Manage Acute Stress Disorder?

1. Hospitalization: If not properly managed, suicide might be attempted. Therefore, to prevent this attempt when observed, the need for hospitalization must not be taken likely.

2. Exposure Based Therapy.

3. Psychological Approach and Psychiatric Education.

4. Assistance: In cases of natural disaster, it is important that help should be rendered as soon as possible to the victims. This will make it easier for them to move on, and gradually eject from them the thoughts of the past.

5. Recurrence of unwanted and distressing memories should be prevented. This can be achieved by engaging the patient in light hearted activities, as well as discouraging discussions and engagements that can actually lead to such.

6. Altered sense of reality should also be prevented.

7. Anything that will bring about the disturbance of sleep, must be checkmated before hand.

Additional Tips:

Patient of Acute Stress Disorder may avoid stimuli that causes them to remember or re-experience the traumatic event, such as:

1. people

2. conversations

3. places

4. objects

5. activities

6. thoughts

7. feelings


In summary, it should be noted here that Acute Stress Disorder is experienced within three days to one month after the traumatic event. 

But should it occur that the experience surpasses the above mentioned duration, then it can be safely assumed that it has developed into what is known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

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