Acute Stress Disorder
Most people who experience trauma will have some kind of psychological reaction, such as feelings of fear, sadness, guilt or anger. However, in the first few weeks after a trauma some people experience more intense reactions that cause them a lot of distress and begin to interfere with their lives. These reactions are known as acute stress reactions.
Acute stress reactions include:
An individual may be diagnosed with Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) if they are experiencing many of these acute stress reactions during the first month following a trauma.
It is important to note that all of these reactions are quite normal and are commonly experienced shortly after a trauma. For most people, these reactions will start to improve naturally within the initial weeks. However, some people who experience a lot of distress because of these reactions, or who find that these reactions are interfering with their normal lives, may benefit from a short-term treatment program. Brief treatment programs for ASD have been shown to be very effective in preventing the development of more long-term difficulties.