Acute Trauma: 5 Symptoms & Factors That Related To Stress


What is acute stress disorder or acute trauma?

A response to a traumatic event can lead to acute stress disorder, a mental illness. It is a mental health issue that can develop following a traumatic experience. Acute trauma does not always follow a terrible incident in the lives of those who encounter it. According to estimates, between 3-15% of those who experience trauma are affected by the illness. Most people who experience or witness tragic experiences a variety of emotions, such as shock, fury, fear, dread, and occasionally guilt. Females develop Acute stress disorder more frequently than males , and it also affects young individuals more frequently. Acute stress disorder and PTSD appear to have many symptoms. After experiencing, witnessing, or being threatened by a traumatic event, a person may experience post-traumatic stress disorder, which is a psychiatric disease. Acute trauma does not necessarily lead to PTSD in every patient.

What are the causes of acute stress mental disorder?

People who go through some traumatic experience, are at greater risk to develop acute stress disorder. Significant physical, emotional, or psychological harm can result from a traumatic occurrence. If a person has previously been diagnosed with a mental disorder, believes the traumatic experience to be very serious, uses avoidance as a coping mechanism when they are distressed, or has a history of trauma, they may be more likely to develop stress disorder. After going through one or more traumatic experiences, people can develop ASD.

  • Experiencing a near-death
  • Natural hazard
  • Unexpected loss of a loved one
  • Sexual or physical abuse
  • Having mental health issues in the past before the terrible event

What are the major symptoms of acute trauma?

Acute stress disorder (ASD), which manifests a cluster of symptoms like anxiety and avoidance, can be suddenly brought on by traumatic experiences. A traumatic event must have been experienced by the person or witnessed by them, and within a month of the occurrence, symptoms must have shown. Acute stress disorder symptoms and PTSD symptoms are quite similar. ASD signs can be categorized into five main groups:

  • Interference:  A person is unable to stop thinking back on horrific events in flashbacks, memories, or dreams and has disturbing nightmares or dreams about sad events constantly. A person who feels uncomfortable mentally or has negative physical reactions to items that trigger traumatic memories.
  • Avoidance of Situation: Avoid the people, places, or things that bring up the incident in this situation. A typical response is to essentially want to avoid everything that makes you think of a horrific occurrence. When there is an effort to avoid upsetting triggers that bring up the traumatic stressor, avoidance symptoms develop. An individual’s home or professional life will be affected.
  • Negative Reactions: It’s possible for someone to have unfavorable thoughts, melancholy, and bad mood. Due to the traumatic incident, you could feel as though you are incapable of experiencing anything other than fear, hopelessness, and grief. They also appear less interested in routine activities.
  • Dissociative:  Dissociative mental disorder is mental illness that includes memory loss, experiences of being outside of your body, and feelings of detachment from reality. People with dissociative disorders unintentionally and unhealthily flee reality, which makes it difficult for them to carry on with daily activities.
  • Derealization:  Derealization disorder is characterized by an altered sense of self and identity that results in a feeling of isolation from oneself and one’s surroundings. A person’s emotional core and mental awareness are shaken by the emotional effect of the traumatic incident.

What is the difference between acute trauma stress and post-traumatic stress disorder?

It can be challenging to think normally after you’ve been through a terrible event or time in your life. People frequently experience times of intense dread, tension, and anxiety. While many people gradually recover and resume normal function, some go on to experience chronic traumatic stress disorder, which can have an impact on their day-to-day activities. Acute stress disorder can develop when someone encounters a catastrophic incident or is exposed to ongoing trauma (ASD). Acute trauma can have a significant negative effect on a person’s life, leaving them feeling isolated from the outside world, perpetually anxious, stressed, furious, and embarrassed. PTSD is the long-term effect of trauma, whereas acute stress disorder is the body’s rapid reaction to trauma.

What are the risk factors of acute stress disorder dsm?

ASD can strike at any time in a person’s life. However, certain people can be more susceptible to getting this illness. A person may also experience trauma indirectly, such as learning of a family member’s passing or participating in a violent or stressful crime as a police officer.

  • A history of other mental health illnesses
  • Having experienced, witnessed, or knowledge of a traumatic event are risk factors that can raise a person’s likelihood of developing ASD.
  • Acute stress disorder symptoms must have been present for three days to one month,
  • They must have been severe enough to interfere with daily activities and produce functional impairment.
  • A pattern of dissociative responses to stressful events in the past
  • Being under 40 years of age
  • Female Trusted Source

How to diagnose the acute stress disorder?

Symptoms that match the DSM diagnostic criteria mostly identify the ASD. A mental health expert confirms the diagnosis and rules out the disease from other psychiatric conditions or a typical response to a stressful environment using consultations and standardized measures. Although acute stress disorder is a mental illness, it can also have physical symptoms. The condition has been connected to the emergence of tachycardia, which is essentially an unusually rapid pulse rate.

Different factors that related to acute trauma stress disorder:

Emotional Distress:

Emotional distress is “a very unpleasant emotional reaction. It happens when your level of unpleasant feelings is extremely high. Distress from emotions is quite subjective. Everyone responds differently to physical discomfort, deformity, and damage healing. “Emotional Discomfort” are any unwelcome or unpleasant feelings that surface as a result of problems or difficulties. Naturally, some people are more sensitive than others. For instance, a highly sensitive individual may easily startle, stressed out by too much activity, and easily shaken by change.

  • Emotions of emotional numbness, anxiety, or depression
  • Decreasing performance at work or school
  • Withdrawing from friends and family spending more time alone
  • Usually feeling guilty
  • Despondent having difficulty making judgments or digesting information

Muscle Tension:

When muscles in the body are in a semi-contracted state for a lengthy period of time, we call this condition as muscle tension. Back pain episodes can result from muscle tension, which is often due to the physiological effects of stress. Symptoms of anxiety muscle tension can appear unexpectedly and may be fleeting or persist for several hours. When attempting to unwind, fall asleep, or even wake up, muscle tension can be very upsetting.

  • Enduring a constant feeling of muscle tension or strain
  • Muscle soreness causing losses in flexibility and mobility
  • Cramping or pain in typical muscle groups
  • Headaches in general or migraines

Stomach Upset Stress:

stress and anxiety frequently causes Stomach pain. When we are under stress, our body releases Neurotransmitters and hormones. This may have a negative effect on gut motility, or the way that our stomach and intestines contract and pass waste through the body. Additionally, stress can disturb the delicate bacterial balance in our stomach, leading to GI pain. Anxiety, stomach tension, and a number of other nearby anxiety and stress-related problems may cause an upset stomach.

Rapid Heartbeat:

Anxiety causes the fight-or-flight response. It is responding as though a dangerous event is about to occur. A rapid heartbeat could make panic episodes worse. Breathing becomes shallow and slower during panic attacks as well as anxiety. In turn, this may cause hyperventilation. Your blood slows down and your body receives too much oxygen when you hyperventilate. Your heart must beat more quickly and forcefully as a result.

Blood Pressure:

Although stress and anxiety can clearly raise blood pressure, they don’t always do so for an extended period of time. Acute stress is transient anxiety. Most common reasons for this are the particular incidents that we have mentioned above. Anxiety attacks and other episodes of anxiety can also lead to acute stress and an increase in blood pressure. Acute stress can speed up your heartbeat and sympathetic nervous system activity, both of which will elevate your blood pressure.

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