Acute stress disorder differential diagnosis

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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]


Acute stress disorder must be differentiated from other diseases that closely mimic a range of acute stress disorder symptoms, including depersonalization, derealization, reduced awareness, and dissociative amnesia or from disorders that doesn't meet criteria for acute stress disorder such as post traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders, depression, dissociative disorders, panic disorder, adjustment disorder, effects of analgesic medications, medical conditions involving coma or impaired awareness, effects of substance abuse, traumatic brain injury (TBI), exacerbation of a preexisting mental condition, brief psychotic episode, and psychotic disorders.

Differential Diagnosis

Acute stress disorder must be differentiated from the following disorders:[1][2][3][4][5]


  1. Strain JJ, Friedman MJ (2011). "Considering adjustment disorders as stress response syndromes for DSM-5". Depress Anxiety. 28 (9): 818–23. doi:10.1002/da.20782. PMID 21254314.
  2. Bryant RA, Panasetis P (2001). "Panic symptoms during trauma and acute stress disorder". Behav Res Ther. 39 (8): 961–6. PMID 11480836.
  3. Nixon RD, Bryant RA (2003). "Peritraumatic and persistent panic attacks in acute stress disorder". Behav Res Ther. 41 (10): 1237–42. PMID 12971943.
  4. Stein MB, McAllister TW (2009). "Exploring the convergence of posttraumatic stress disorder and mild traumatic brain injury". Am J Psychiatry. 166 (7): 768–76. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.08101604. PMID 19448186.
  5. Meares S, Shores EA, Taylor AJ, Batchelor J, Bryant RA, Baguley IJ; et al. (2008). "Mild traumatic brain injury does not predict acute postconcussion syndrome". J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 79 (3): 300–6. doi:10.1136/jnnp.2007.126565. PMID 17702772.

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