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Anxiety Disorders

Acute Stress Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Acute Stress Disorder can be experienced when a person has been exposed to a traumatic event in which the person experienced, witnessed, or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury or a threat to the physical integrity of self and others.

Symptoms of Acute Stress Disorder, that cause clinically significant distress or impairment, can be experienced during or immediately after the trauma, last for at least two days and resolve within four weeks after the traumatic event. When symptoms persist beyond one month a diagnosis may be made of

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Symptoms include

A subjective sense of numbing, detachment or absence of emotional responsiveness.
A sense of being in a daze
Derealisation
Depersonalisation
Dissociative amnesia. the inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma
Marked symptoms of anxiety
Difficulty sleeping
Irritability
Poor concentration
Hyper vigilance
Exaggerated startle response

The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced in at least one of the following ways

Recurrent images
Recurrent thoughts
Dreams
Flashback episodes
A sense of reliving the experience, or distress on exposure to reminders of the the traumatic event
Marked avoidance of stimuli that arouse recollections of the trauma : thoughts, feelings conversations, activities, places, people.

From the American Psychiatrist Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Washington DC, American Psychiatrist Association 1994

 

Agoraphobia