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Acute stress and Post-Traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Acute and posttraumatic stress disorders are anxiety disorders that develop in responses to an extreme psychological or physical trauma. The reaction to the event must involve intense fear, evoke helplessness, or horror. Although stress disorders have many similarities to other anxiety disorders, they have some unique symptoms, such as detachment from others, restricted range of affect, nightmares, and loss of interest in activities.

Acute stress reaction is a transient disorder which develops in an individual with no other apparent mental disorder in response to exceptional physical and or mental stress; it usually stops within hours or days.

Post-Traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a reaction of normal individuals to an extreme trauma (e.g.,  natural, man- made disasters, combat, serious accident, witnessing the violent death of others, being the victim of torture, abuse, terrorism, rape or other crimes). The experience is overwhelming and overloading of normal emotional processing.

Did you know?

  • Anxiety and depression are commonly associated.
  • PTSD-8% elevated rates are found among refugees
  • PTSD-More common in females, and in survivors of rape, military combat, accidents, traumas
  • PTSD-The onset follows the trauma with a latency period of few weeks to months.
  • Acute stress disorder lifetime prevalence 14-33% from specific traumas.

Cause of Acute stress and Post-Traumatic stress disorder

The development of acute or posttraumatic stress disorders appears to depend on the nature of the traumatic event, on a response that shows intense fear and horror, and on vulnerability factors involving past history, personality and family support.

Treatment for Cause of Acute stress and Post-Traumatic stress disorder

There is good evidence that a number of structured psychological therapies (such as cognitive-analytic therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy) can be greatly beneficial.


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