Acute Stress Disorder sufferers may experience difficulty concentrating, feel detached from their bodies, experience the world as unreal or dreamlike, or have increasing difficulty recalling specific details of the traumatic event (dissociative amnesia).
Acute stress reaction (also called acute stress disorder, psychological shock, mental shock, or simply shock) is a psychological condition arising in response to a terrifying or traumatic event. It should not be confused with the unrelated circulatory condition of shock, or the concept of shock value. (Wiki)
An acute stress reaction occurs when symptoms, including anxiety, develop quickly as a reaction to exceptionally stressful events. Symptoms often go quickly, and you may not need any treatment. Sometimes other treatments, such as talking therapies, may be helpful.
Symptoms usually develop quickly over minutes or hours – reacting to the stressful event. They usually settle fairly quickly, but can sometimes last for several days or weeks. (Patient.co.uk )
Symptoms of acute stress reactions may include the following:
Psychological symptoms such as:
• Low mood
• Emotional ups and downs
• Poor sleep
• Poor concentration
• Wanting to be alone.
• Recurrent dreams or flashbacks, which can be intrusive and unpleasant.
• Avoidance of anything that will trigger memories. This may mean avoiding people, conversations, or other situations, as they cause distress and anxiety.
• Reckless or aggressive behaviour that may be self-destructive.
• Feeling emotionally numb and detached from others.
Physical symptoms such as:
• A thumping heart (palpitations)
• Feeling sick (nausea)
• Chest pain
• Tummy (abdominal) pains
• Breathing difficulties
Acute stress disorder (ASD) is caused by experiencing, witnessing, or being confronted with a traumatic event or events. The events create intense fear, horror, or helplessness.
Traumatic events that can cause ASD include:
• the threat of death to oneself or others
• the threat of serious injury to oneself or others
• a threat to the physical integrity to oneself or to others
As far back as World War I this condition was referred to as “shell shock,” in which there are similarities between reactions of soldiers who suffered concussions caused by exploding bombs or shells and those who suffered blows to their central nervous systems.
More recently, acute stress disorder was brought to light as it became clear that for a short period, people might exhibit PTSD-like symptoms immediately after a trauma.
Have you or do you know someone who suffers from acute stress disorder?