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Have you ever dealt with a traumatic event and are trapped with the after affects of psychological distress?

Do you feel helpless, frightened, drained and in a constant restless state of mind? Are you trying to cope with your past but the memories always bring you intense emotional distress and anxiety? Do you feel the anxiety is brought upon by the certain unfortunate event and makes you want to just run into someone who can save you from that helpless state? Are you not able to speak about that painful past as it makes your stress go up? Do you want to know about what is that acute stress disorder?

To make it simple acute stress disorder is a psychologically distressing condition which develops soon after or within weeks of a month after exposure to a traumatic event in which you may or may not have been involved directly and symptoms may stay persistently from duration of days to a month.

Acute Stress Disorder

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Am I the victim of acute stress disorder (ASD)?

Being exposed to debilitating events while being the victim of that trauma or just witnessing the event of some dear one’s misery can do a lot to your mental health than you can ever imagine, all of these factors can lead to acute stress disorder. The downfall of this trauma is the development of psychological symptoms of being in a state of shear horror, fearfulness and helplessness. Events of any kind which can be too sensitive for your brain to cope with can lead to ASD. 

Most Common Examples of ASD

  • Getting death threats
  •  Experiencing accidents, crashes or natural disasters
  •  Being victim of  childhood abuse
  • Experiencing prolonged, chronic or painful medical conditions like cancer
  • Family or genetic history of mental disorders
  • Experiencing 1st or 2nd hand criminal activity
  • Witnessing murder, rape, torture or injustice to close ones
  • Events of suicidal attempts
  • Experience of emotional or physical assault
  • Death of loved ones
  • Past medical history of psychological disorders

How to collect my emotions and symptoms into ASD category?  

A person may be suffering from acute stress disorder if he/she has following symptoms:

  1. Constant flashbacks: a person who is not able to let go of the trauma and tends to find him or herself searching for any kind of support to hold onto.
  2. Sad behaviour: experiencing these events can lead to loss of interest, hopelessness, helplessness and negative thoughts.
  3. Losing the sense of reality: lacking awareness and being in psychological distress leading to temporary loss of recalling power of the whole event.
  4. Avoiding behaviour: not talking about the feelings of trauma or just not talking about the whole experience itself intentionally to avoid being in emotional pain. 
  5. Sleep disorders: lack of sleep, disturbed sleep wake cycle, fearful dreams and a constant panicked state leading to restlessness.

Treatment options for ASD include the following:

  Pharmacological treatment:

  1. Anti-depressants
  2. Anti-anxiety drugs
  3. Muscle relaxants

  Psychological therapy:

  1. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). 
  2. Meditation
  3. Mindfulness
  1. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It includes finding the root cause through daily sessions and talking through the issue in hand and devising a management plan to have healthy strategies for the victim as a 1st line treatment protocol.
  2. Meditation. It helps a person’s mind to relax and think happy thoughts to manage stress and anxiety through breathing and relaxing techniques.
  3. Mindfulness. Mindfulness-based interventions teach techniques for managing stress and anxiety. These can include meditation and breathing exercises.

While living in the world of mental illness how can someone be so sure to be suffering from acute stress disorder?

The diagnostic criteria for ASD is to have symptoms from 2 days to maximum 4 weeks depending upon the severity of disease progression and the fragile state of an individual’s mind. A child with abused mind and an innocent teenager whose world just got upside down by loss of some dear one are the most crucial members of the society to be taken care of immensely.

Nobody deserves to go through hell but unfortunately some of us are not that lucky and had to face their worst nightmares while remaining helpless.

ASD victims suffer with peak emotional distress especially days following the event up to some weeks. If not given proper help patient may develop PTSD. ASD differs from PTSD due to having dissociative behvaiour prominently.

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