Acute Stress Disorder

There's nothing cute about it. It's an anxiety disorder, 308.3 in the DSM IV-TR.

But since you suffered through that last post you deserve to know the symptoms of Acute Stress Disorder. You can decide for yourself if this therapist has it. NO, I didn't sleep well last night. But it could have been the chocolate ice cream at 11 pm, don't you think?

A. The person has been exposed to a traumatic event in which both of the following were present:
(1) the person experienced, witnessed, or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others.
(2) the person's response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror
(B) Either while experiencing or after experiencing the distressing event, the individual has three (or more) or the following dissociative symptoms:
(1) a subjective sense of numbing, detachment, or absence of emotional responsiveness,
(2) a reduction in awareness of his or her surroundings (e.g., "being in a daze")
(3) derealization,
(4) depersonalization,
(5) dissociative amnesia (i.e., inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma
C. The traumatic event is persistently reexperienced in at least one of the following ways: recurrent images, thoughts, dreams, illusions, flashback episodes, or a sense of reliving the experience; or distress on exposure to reminders of the traumatic event.

D. Marked avoidance of stimuli that arouse recollections of the trauma (e.g., thoughts, feelintgs, conversations, activities, places, people

E. Marked symptoms of anxiety or increased arousal (e.g., difficulty sleeping, irritability, poor concentration, hypervigilance, exaggerated startle response, motor restlessness).

F. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning or impairs the individual's ability to pursue some necessary task, such as obtaining necessary assistance or mobilizing personal resources by telling family members about the traumatic experience.

G. The disturbance lasts for a minimum of 2 days and a maximum of 4 weeks of the traumatic event.

H. The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition, is not better accounted for by Brief Psychotic Disorder, and is not merely an exacerbation of a preexisting Axis I or Axis II disorder.


Dreaming again said…
not sure I get the difference between this and PTSD ...
therapydoc said…
The difference is, this one resolves in 4 weeks.
Anonymous said…
Good grief. Sounds way too familiar.

Not recently though, thankfully.
sfordinarygirl said…
sounds exactly like myself and that's what led to my impulsive actions last week which helped further my mom's agenda and plan to take cart blanche from dad.
Anonymous said…
Wow, what a timely post for me. Recently I stared down my own mortality, twice from acute and sudden illness, and the third and final time in a horrific anthrax scare at my job in which I was the person who inadvertently opened the envelope with the suspect and requisite white powder inside. I was immediately quarantined and for two solid hours while we waited for HazMat to arrive and secure the building and test the substance, I thought I was going to die a horrible and painful death in front of strangers. Since then (this happened a year ago October) I have experienced symptoms of PTSD, which I sought help with just this past weekend.

Thank you so much for posting this. I hope someone else finds it as helpful as I have.
therapydoc said…
Now THAT'S scary.
Just read the previous post--thank goodness you're all right!

Actually, I did the same thing on a smaller scale today, and burnt a piece of toast in the toaster oven because I went to check on the blog and thought I'd remember to come right back. Darn blogs will be the death of us!
therapydoc said…
G-d forbid. But you could be onto something.
Anonymous said…
This ASD seems to describe my feelings very well. However, mine have lasted far longer than 4wks. Is there a chronic disorder as well?
therapydoc said…
ABSOLUTELY, Anon. It's called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Dr. Deb said…
I do a lot of trauma work and ACute Stress is often present. Great post.
Everyone in life must be going through stress. It takes a toll in our body. Stress are of different types. Acute stress is a type of stress in which person cannot handle situation they face. It is severe compared to other stress.

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