Acute Stress Disorder

Acute stress disorder is much stronger and more debilitating than a mild case of acute stress. This disorder is caused by a traumatic event that leaves lasting impressions. These feelings may in turn cause the person to withdraw from society or suppress thoughts of the fearful memories of the event.

Acute Stress Disorder fear of death

Examples of such an event would be a robbery where they were present and their life was endangered, rape, near death experiences or observing a horrific event which impacted another individual.

Persons encountering an event inducing acute stress disorder experience intense fear, threat of death or great physical injury from this traumatic event.

Dependant on the persons proximity to the event or if the person was personally involved as a victim can determine how they react and the severity of the impact on their emotional state of mind.

Symptoms that can contribute to acute stress disorder

  • Depression causing someone to confine themselves to their bed and sleep for long periods of time.
  • Insomnia making them incapable of sleep for fear of dreams triggering unwanted memories or unrelenting thoughts that won’t allow them to quiet their mind and relax.
  • Withdrawal from society to protect themselves from future threatening episodes.
  • Temporary amnesia causing their defenses to block the unpleasant memories of the event. Emotional detachment where the individual may feel as though they are functioning mechanically performing tasks in a daze as if they may be outside their body viewing themselves move but not experiencing any emotional attachment to anything in their environment.
  • Turn to alcohol or drugs to try to escape from the depression, force sleep to deal with the insomnia, deafen or dull the memories and suppress feelings they may not want to deal with.
  • Acute Stress Disorder - support group
    Discover Local Support Groups

    There are many support groups set up for additional help in these circumstances, they are used to allow the individual to share experiences and exchange coping strategies with others who have experienced similar instances.

    Sometimes it is just good to be in an environment where you feel others can comprehend what you have been through and what you are going through.

    This stress response may last from days to weeks. When the effects last longer than a month the individual may be classified as suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is very important to seek help soon after a traumatic event to prevent this from progressing further and therefore causing a more severe impact that may have lasting mental effects.


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