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Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) Treatment Centres

Acute Stress Disorder Including Drug Abuse

Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) is a mental health problem that can occur after Life-threatening, terrifying or otherwise deeply traumatic event. If symptoms persist longer than a month, people are diagnosed as having posttraumatic stress disorder.

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Symptoms of Acute Stress Disorder

  • Palpitations, i.e. a pounding heart. Difficulty in breathing & Chest pain.
  • Headache & Stomach pain. Nausea & Sweating.
Psychological symptoms of acute stress disorder include:
  • Arousal : Hypervigilance, an inability to focus, sleep disturbances, irritable mood and angry outbursts
  • Avoidance : Determination to avoid memories, people, feelings or places associated with the trauma
  • Dissociation : A sense of physical displacement, e.g. seeing oneself from outside one’s body, feeling dazed, experiencing an altered perception of time, difficulty remembering the event
  • Intrusion : Recurrent, involuntary flashbacks of the event, nightmares about the event
  • Negative mood : A generalized low mood, difficulty feeling and/or expressing positive emotions

Treatment of acute stress disorder

Effective treatment options are available and may be recommended in cases where symptoms are severe or persistent. Treatment, which is primarily psychotherapy, sometimes combined with short-term use of medication, is aimed at alleviating symptoms and reducing the risk of the person subsequently developing PTSD. If symptoms of ASD do not improve, a diagnosis of PTSD may be considered and the treatment plan revised accordingly.

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Treatment options for ASD may include:

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT as the first-line treatment for people with ASD. CBT involves working with a our trained mental health professional to develop effective coping strategies.

Mindfulness. Mindfulness-based interventions teach techniques for managing stress and anxiety. These can include meditation and breathing exercises.

Medications. A healthcare professional may prescribe antidepressants or anticonvulsants to help treat a person’s symptoms.

Acute stress disorder FAQs

Q: Symptoms of acute stress disorder ?
A: If a person has experienced a traumatic event, it is important to monitor their behavior, any symptoms of ASD. Difficulty in sleeping, nightmares, repeated reenactment of the traumatic event through play, problems with concentration, detachment and irritability are all possible signs that a person is affected by ASD.

Q: How is acute stress disorder different to post-traumatic stress disorder?
A: Many of the symptoms of ASD are very similar to those of PTSD, a typically longer-term condition that can develop after a person experiences or witnesses a life-threatening, terrifying or otherwise deeply traumatic event. ASD is a short-term condition that can only be diagnosed between three days and one month after a traumatic event, and it is thought to have a somewhat broader range of triggers than PTSD. If symptoms of a stress reaction persist for more than 30 days or first appear more than one month after the trauma has occurred, a diagnosis of PTSD may be considered. While many people who are diagnosed with ASD do not go on to develop PTSD, it is thought that ASD may increase a person’s risk of developing PTSD.

Q: How is acute stress disorder different to adjustment disorder?
A: People affected by adjustment disorder may present symptoms similar to those of people affected by ASD. However, a major difference between ASD and adjustment disorder is related to the trigger of the condition. Whereas ASD is caused by a person experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event such as a car crash, natural disaster or sexual assault, adjustment disorder is triggered by a more broadly stressful, life-changing event or circumstance, such as the birth of a child, job loss, diagnosis with serious illness, marriage or the breakdown of a relationship. In addition, the reaction of the body’s nervous system tends to be less severe than in ASD. People affected by adjustment disorder typically recover within six months of no longer being exposed to the stressor.

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