Acute stress reactions that might happen within the first month of being exposed to a traumatic incident are the hallmarks of acute stress disorder (ASD). The disorder exhibits intrusive, dissociative, depressive, avoidant, and arousal symptoms. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is only recognized four weeks after exposure to trauma, develops in some people with ASD. one can take online counseling with TalktoAngel.
A mental health disease known as acute stress disorder can develop right away following a traumatic experience. A variety of psychological symptoms can result from it, and if it goes unnoticed or untreated, post-traumatic stress disorder might develop.
Acute stress disorder (ASD) and post-traumatic stress disorder are closely related (PTSD). Acute stress disorder patients report having symptoms that are comparable to those of PTSD and other stress disorders.
ASD signs can be categorized into five main groups:
Symptoms of intrusion: These happen when a person experiences terrible memories, flashbacks, or dreams over and over again.
Negative attitude: It’s possible for someone to have unfavorable thoughts, melancholy, and bad mood.
Symptoms of dissociation: These include things like a distorted perception of reality, a lack of awareness of one’s surroundings, and trouble recalling specifics of the traumatic experience.
Symptoms of avoidance: Persons who experience these symptoms deliberately avoid situations, people, or feelings that remind them of the traumatic occurrence.
Arousal signs: Insomnia and other sleep disorders, attention issues, and irritation or aggression—either verbal or physical—can all be among them. Additionally, they could feel tense or on guard and be particularly susceptible to being shocked.
Instead of using other psychotherapies or medications, we advise using trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) as the first line of treatment for people with acute stress disorder (ASD). Clinical trials that contrast trauma-focused CBT with other therapies that are effective in treating ASD or preventing posttraumatic stress disorder are not yet available (PTSD). The ASD treatment with the most evidence of success is trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Trauma-focused CBT is described below.
A skilled therapist should normally offer CBT to patients with ASD during six weekly sessions that last 60 to 90 minutes whether through Online Counseling or in-person therapy; further sessions may be added as needed. Usually, the intervention is given at least two weeks following the trauma exposure. This gives the person more time for temporary symptoms to go away and for post-traumatic stressors to lessen. The start of therapy should take other stressful situations resulting from the trauma into consideration. If the patient is distracted by trauma-related events or experiences, such as pain, surgery, legal processes, relocation, or other pressures, it may be difficult for them to concentrate on therapy.
Delaying exposure therapy into the PTSD phase for several months for some ASD patients with other patients, such as patients with:
- Extreme aversion to situations or dissociative symptoms, as these manifestations may signify extremely stressful reactions that can be compounded by exposure.
- Anger is the main reaction since it frequently does not respond well to exposure exercises and may perform better with cognitive therapy.
- An acute mourning response, like regular grieving, may become more difficult after exposure therapy.
- Borderline or psychotic characteristics may hinder a person’s presentation because these people need to be contained and exposed.
- Significant risk of suicide because these patients need to be managed for suicide.
In comparison to cognitive restructuring, exposure treatment, a component of trauma-focused CBT, has been demonstrated to be more successful in treating ASD patients. The trial randomly allocated 90 people who had suffered trauma and who met the diagnostic criteria for ASD to one of three treatment groups: cognitive restructuring, imaginal and in vivo exposure, or a waitlist control group. Patients in the exposure group were 2.8 times more likely than those in the waitlist group to experience remission of their initial symptoms at six months and remained less likely to meet PTSD criteria.
Childhood trauma-related PTSD symptoms can continue to persist because it may be too difficult to confront childhood trauma weeks after a more current trauma.
The following psychosocial interventions have been tried: trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, cognitive therapy, and psychological debriefing. These interventions have been used to treat the symptoms of acute stress disorder (ASD) and/or to prevent the onset of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – For ASD, trauma-focused CBT often entails patient education, cognitive restructuring, and exposure. One can also take Counselling Online with trauma informed care practitioner.
Patients are informed about stressful reactions to trauma, disorders associated with trauma, and available treatments. It should be the goal of patient education on stressed reactions to trauma to:
- Regularize the stress reaction
- Increase the likelihood of recovery
- Explain the stress reactions using conditioning theories that call for the patient to understand that reminders no longer pose a threat.
Cognitive restructuring is a technique used to deal with the patient’s unhelpful or irrational perceptions of the trauma, his or her reaction to it, and worries of potential future injury.
Exposure therapy helps people face their frightening memories and circumstances in a therapeutic way. The trauma can be relived through exposure in order to process it emotionally and make it less unpleasant. The person can encounter painful memories or safe reminders of a traumatic incident repeatedly while remaining safe until they no longer trigger such intense feelings and the person can realize that they are not hazardous.