The Basics of Acute Stress Disorder

If within a month of going through a severe trauma, you begin to develop serious mental problems, such as severe levels of anxiety or a dissociate disorder. The mind is usually trying to escape the traumatic event, and tries to put roadblocks in the way of remembering the event. This can cause a good number of problems within the mind of the affected person.

Some of the most common symptoms of acute stress disorder include feeling numb or detached from one’s own body, a sense of fearfulness, no matter what situation is going on, an inability to remember the particulars of the traumatic event, or the event entirely, and some type of a flashback of something from the event. This could be in the form of images, smells, sounds, or even emotions.

The effects of the event often lead a person suffering from Acute Stress Disorder to avoid situations where there could be similar feelings or events in the future. It can cause the sufferer to avoid anything from a specific place or driving a car, to even going out, depending on what type of event caused the disorder in the first place.

If someone has Acute Stress Disorder, it will affect how he or she lives life in order to fulfill the diagnosis requirements, which often leads to having to take anxiety medication. These medications can be addicting if the stress of the event overwhelms the person, and he or she tries to self-medicate to alleviate the symptoms. For this reason, getting proper treatment to help move past the traumatic event and the symptoms it has caused, is very important and cannot be put off.


N.A. “Acute Stress Disorder Symptoms.” PsychCentral (Website). (2014).
  • 4 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • Sometimes it simply not possible to get the right kind of treatment. You might not know that you are suffering from some kind of traumatic stress disorder, until it hits you right in the face. And even then, you might feel at a loss about what you should be doing about it. As you say, people bury their traumas so deep that they feel detached from themselves or numb. It's very painful and extremely scary to confront those traumas. Often a person does not want to share those deeply personal experiences with another, hence s/he will resolve things in her/his own time. 
  • How does one even get to treatment if they are surpassing what the experience was to begin with? It sounds like what happens is that the mind goes into some sort of denial because the shock is to great for the conscious.  I can see where if you were removed enough from whatever the situation was that you could be okay for quite sometime before something triggers a part of the memory. I would imagine some folks could change their entire lifestyle if something happened that was to terrible to bear. How does the person know they need to get help? and if they do get the help they need won' it get worse before it gets better? they would have to relive the event to gain resolution?
  • So, what if the other symptoms are not present, and everything appears fine other than not being able to remember the event? Is this still a serious problem? Is treatment recommended, and if so, what type? Because I don't buy into all that babble about recovered memories, but I'm curious what else might be called for in the case of not being able to remember a traumatic event.
  • I think I did suffer from this after being sexually abused, but I lived in negation for very long. I did feel numbness and fearfulness for a while. I didn't get the help I needed and this is why I think my mental issues are now far worse.

     I now have this tendency to go to bed and lie there for hours, sleep only 6 hours (when am worried about something) and even have nightmares on the topic that is running in my head. I need to realx :(  I'm having problems with some people right now and this causing me stress.  I couldn't sleep tonight because I was dreading the confrontation already.
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