What is the Disorder?
Acute Stress Disorder is an intense, unpleasant, and dysfunctional reaction beginning shortly after an overwhelming traumatic event and lasting less than a month. People may experience terrifying event directly or indirectly. For example, direct exposure may involve experiencing serious injury, violence, or the threat of death. Indirect exposure may involve witnessing events happening to others or learning of events that occurred to close family members or friends.
Red Flags to watch out for
- Recurring, uncontrollable, and intrusive distressing memories of the event.
- Recurrent distressing dreams of the event.
- Intense psychological or physical distress when reminded of the event.
- A persistent inability to experience positive emotions.
- Memory loss for an important part of the traumatic event.
- Efforts to avoid distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings associated with the event.
- Efforts to avoid external reminders associated with the event.
- An exaggerated response to loud noises, sudden movements, or other stimuli.