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Acute Stress Disorder / Post Traumatic Stress Disorder


Acute Stress Disorder

Acute Stress Disorder can be experienced when a person has been exposed to a traumatic event in which the person experienced, witnessed or was confronted with an events or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury or a threat to the physical integrity of self and others.

Symptoms of Acute Stress Disorder, that cause clinically significant distress or impairment, can be experienced during or immeditately after the trauma, last for at least 2 days amd either resolve within four weeks after the traumatic event. When sytmptoms persist beyond one month a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder may be made.

Symptoms include

  • a subjective sene of numbing, detachment or absence of emotional responsiveness.
  • a sense of being in a daze
  • derealisation
  • depersonalisation
  • dissociative amnesia..the inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma
  • The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced in at least one of the following ways
  • recurrent imagines
  • thoughts
  • dreams
  • flashback episodes
  • or a sense of reliving the experience, or distress on exposure to reminders of the the traumatic event.
  • Marked advoidance of stimuli that arouse recollections of the trauma : thoughts, feelings conversations, activities, places, people.
  • Marked symptoms of anxiety
  • difficulty sleeping
  • irritability
  • poor concentration
  • hypervigilance
  • exaggerated startle response

from the American Psychiatrist Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,Fourth Edition, Washington DC, American Psychiatrist Association 1994

Bali 12th October 2002

Sept 11th

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