Acute Stress Disorder
Brett D. Klawitter
Acute Stress Disorder or ASD is a phenomenon that happens during or shortly after a traumatic event. It can affect people in many different ways but it is usually debilitating for up to one month. There has been controversy and stigma attached to the diagnosis of ASD since it was first added to the DSM-IV. This paper will illustrate the definition of ASD, the diagnostic guidelines, the difference between ASD and Acute Stress Reaction (ASR), symptoms and effective treatments, the impact of ASD and the coping skills needed to successfully get through it, and a biblical story and perspective about stress disorders. ...view middle of the document...
Diagnostic Guidelines for ASD
There has been some changes to the diagnostic guidelines for ASD since it first appeared in the DSM-IV. While many aspects remain the same thee has been some additional criteria or information that makes the diagnosis more effecting. The diagnostic criteria for ASD include; experiencing or witnessing actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violation, or learning that the event occurred to a friend or close relative, repeated or extreme exposure to the event but it is important to note that this does not include exposure through mass media. In DSM-IV three criteria had to be met along with the occurrence of other disturbances. In DSM-V this is sectioned together and eight or more of the symptoms must be met, starting with at least three of the disassociated symptoms such as numbing, depersonalization, or amnesia. There are four inclusion symptoms that could occur such as flashbacks, recurrent images, thoughts, or dreams. Two avoidance symptoms that could include avoiding conversations, activities, people, and places that bring back intense feelings and memories of the event. Furthermore; symptoms of arousal or anxiety such as the inability or difficulty sleeping, irritability, poor concentration, and the inability to sit still or body tremors and shaking. There needs to be clinically observed stress or impairment, the symptoms last from three days to one month after the event and are not due to the use of substances, a medical condition, or physiological events (Cardeña & Carlson, 2011).
Differences between ASD and Acute Stress Reactions
Acute Stress Reaction (ASR) while similar to ASD the differences are where you find the diagnostic criteria ASD is found in the DSM while ASR is found in International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) along with the diagnosis of Combat Stress Reaction (CSR). All the diagnosis describe basically the same criteria just in different world perspectives. The differences however include such things as; ASD was developed for prognostic value while ASR is more of a descriptive. Another difference is the setting and events in which they are based. This can also be affected by a clinician experiencing ongoing stressors. For a diagnostic criteria to be met for ASD there must be a stressor where ASR is subjective. The fourth difference is timeframe, ASR may happen in the same timeframe during or after an event up to the three days but symptoms may dissipate at that point. Finally ASR criteria does not require functional requirements (Isserlin et al, 2008). “ASR as a transient reaction that can be evident immediately after the traumatic event and usually resolves within 2–3 days after a trauma. The ICD description of ASR includes primarily dissociative (daze, stupor, amnesia) and anxiety (tachycardia, sweating, flushing) reactions” (Bryant et al, 2011, p. 803-804). While ASR can become an ASD diagnosis, similar to ASD can manifest into PTSD, it does not always and falls...