Acute stress disorder causes

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Simrat Sarai, M.D. [2]

Overview

Acute stress disorder may be caused by either experiencing, witnessing, or being confronted with one or more traumatic events.[1][2][3][4]

Causes

Traumatic events that can cause acute stress disorder include the following:[5][6][7][8]

  • Directly experiencing the traumatic event,
  • Witnessing the traumatic event
  • Being confronted with one or more traumatic events

Approximately 6 to 33 percent of people who experience a traumatic event develop ASD. This rate varies based on the nature of the traumatic situation

Traumatic event Type of traumatic event Example of traumatic event
Traumatic events experienced directly, but not limited to Exposure to war as a combatant or civilian
Threatened or actual violent personal assault Sexual violence, physical attack , active combat, mugging, childhood physical and/or sexual violence, being kidnapped being taken hostage, terrorist attack, torture

For children, sexually traumatic events may include inappropriate sexual experiences without violence or injury

Natural or humanmade disasters Earthquake, airplane crash, hurricane
Medical incidents Sudden, catastrophic events such as waking during surgery, anaphylactic shock

A severe life-threatening illness or debilitating medical condition is not necessarily considered a traumatic event

Severe accident Severe motor vehicle, industrial accident
Traumatic events witnessed, but not limited to Observing threatened or serious injury
Unnatural death
Physical or sexual violence inflicted on another individual as a result of violent assault
Severe domestic violence
Severe accident
War
Disaster
Witnessing a medical catastrophe involving one's child A life-threatening haemorrhage
Being confronted with one or more traumatic events
Traumatic events experienced indirectly through learning about the event are limited to close relatives or close friends Events must have been violent or accidental

Death due to natural causes does not qualify When the stressor is interpersonal or intentional ( e.g, torture, rape), the disorder may be especially severe The likelihood of developing this disorder may increase as the intensity of and physical proximity to the stressor increase

violent personal assault, suicide , serious accident, or serious injury
Experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of the traumatic events Child abuse, death First responders collecting human remains, police officers repeatedly exposed to details of child abuse

References

  1. Bryant, Richard A., et al. "A review of acute stress disorder in DSM‐5." Depression and anxiety 28.9 (2011): 802-817.
  2. Classen, Catherine, et al. "Acute stress disorder as a predictor of posttraumatic stress symptoms." American Journal of Psychiatry (1998).
  3. Elklit, Ask, and Dorte M. Christiansen. "ASD and PTSD in rape victims." Journal of Interpersonal Violence (2010).
  4. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders : DSM-5. Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Association, 2013. Print.
  5. Bryant, Richard A., et al. "A review of acute stress disorder in DSM‐5." Depression and anxiety 28.9 (2011): 802-817.
  6. Classen, Catherine, et al. "Acute stress disorder as a predictor of posttraumatic stress symptoms." American Journal of Psychiatry (1998).
  7. Elklit, Ask, and Dorte M. Christiansen. "ASD and PTSD in rape victims." Journal of Interpersonal Violence (2010).
  8. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders : DSM-5. Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Association, 2013. Print.



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