Acute stress disorder (ASD) results after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event, such as death, or serious injury or accident. Those with ASD will develop severe anxiety, fear, depression and dissociation.
ASD is similar to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but the symptoms are short-term.
Patients with ASD may experience:
- Lack of emotional response
- Reduced sense of surroundings
- Inability to remember parts of the trauma
- Difficulty sleeping
· Re-experiencing the traumatic event through recurring images, thoughts, dreams or flashbacks
Symptoms will persist for two days to four weeks after the traumatic event. If symptoms persist for longer than a month, the patient may instead be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Up to 80% of patients with acute stress disorder will develop PTSD if their condition is left untreated. Although similar in nature, it has a greater emphasis on dissociative symptoms that detach the patient from reality.