Disturbing events and trauma may cause acute stress disorder in some people. Some examples of traumatic events include experiencing a near-death situation, serious injury, or sexual assault. It may also be from simply witnessing an event like this. Symptoms usually start shortly after the event and then become worse in the wake of the event. They can last for a short period of a few days or continue for a month. If this sounds like a condition you’re experiencing, mental health treatment in Tacoma, WA, can make all the difference.
What is Acute Stress Disorder?
Acute stress disorder, or ASD, may resolve on its own or it might develop into post-traumatic stress disorder. This is often referred to as PTSD. Roughly five and 20 percent of those who experience a traumatic event, like a mass shooting, assault, or car accident, develop ASD. About half of those people eventually develop PTSD. The ASD diagnosis is to potentially identify individuals who might develop PTSD due to traumatic events. People with ASD tend to exhibit symptoms similar to that of PTSD sufferers.
Trauma has two meanings in the medical field. Physically, it refers to a severe injury or wound to the body. Mentally, it refers to something that causes emotional pain and distress. Of course, the more direct the traumatic exposure, the more chance of mental harm. For example, in a mass shooting, the injured people are more likely to develop ASD vs. the witnesses or bystanders. However, direct witnesses are more likely to develop it vs. those who were just in the area.
Causes of Acute Stress Disorder
At an acute stress disorder treatment program in Tacoma, WA, we can help you understand the causes behind ASD. Firstly, a traumatic event must be experienced or witnessed for a person to have a risk of developing ASD. Women are more likely to develop it than men. Some other risk factors include the following:
- Poor coping skills
- The perception that the traumatic event was very severe
- Previous mental disorder diagnosis
- History of prior trauma
However, it’s not completely clear why some people develop ASD, and some do not. The body’s natural response to stress is either confrontation, freezing, or fleeing. At the same time, the heart rate increases as does blood pressure, breathing, and metabolism. These allow the body to take action, whether it’s to fight or flee.
Symptoms of Acute Stress Disorder
ASD can be diagnosed when specific symptoms continue for at least three days. If the symptoms persist for longer than a month, then the person has PTSD. Symptoms of ASD have five different categories.
- Intrusion – uncontrollable and distressing recollections of the event or continuous nightmares about it.
- Negative moods – a continuous bad mood where the person is unable to feel anything positive.
- Dissociation – the person feels dazed, or like time is passing very slowly, or that they’re not inside their own body.
- Avoidance – working to avoid any thoughts, memories, emotions, people, or areas that remind them of the traumatic event.
- Arousal – a constant state of being ready, which may include insomnia, irritation, and difficulty focusing.
People with ASD tend to feel extremely guilty about being unable to prevent the traumatic event or move on from it. They may experience panic attacks and bouts of anxiety.
Treatment for Acute Stress Disorder
At Bayview Recovery, an acute stress disorder treatment program Tacoma WA, we can help you recover from ASD. One of the main therapies used for this disorder is cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps to change thoughts and behaviors associated with ASD. The following comprehensive services and programs are offered at Bayview Recovery:
- Extended care
- Substance abuse treatment
- Anger management
- Evening IOP
- Insurance-based payment
- Partial hospitalization
- Dialectical behavioral therapy program
Don’t let acute stress disorder control your life. Overcome your mental health issues with help from Bayview Recovery. Give us a call today at 855.478.3650 to find out how we can get your life back on track.