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Acute Stress Disorder Diagnosis

(Also Known As: Anxiety Diagnosis, Anxiety Disorder Diagnosis, Anxiety Attack Diagnosis, Acute Stress Reaction Diagnosis, Acute Stress Syndrome Diagnosis)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

How is Acute Stress Disorder Diagnosed?

In order to diagnose a person with Acute Stress Disorder, the following factors must be met:

  • Exposure to a traumatic event in which the person experienced or witnessed a life-threatening event and felt intense fear and helplessness
  • At least three (3) or more of the following symptoms are present:
    • Emotional numbing
    • Reduced awareness of one’s surroundings
    • Feeling disconnected with oneself or with reality
    • Inability to recall important aspects of the trauma
    • Persistent re-experience of the traumatic event through intrusive thoughts, dreams, images, flashbacks, etc; or distress when exposed to reminders of the traumatic event.
    • Marked avoidance of anything that reminds the person of the traumatic event
    • Anxiety or agitation (such as irritability, restlessness, poor concentration, difficulty sleeping, hyper-vigilance, etc.)
    • Significant impairment of the person’s normal functioning, or difficulty carrying out normal tasks.
    • Symptoms are experienced within two (2) days from the traumatic event and last a maximum of four (4) weeks.
    • The disturbance or the symptoms are not caused by some medical condition or substance use. It is not better accounted for by Brief Psychotic Disorder, nor is it just a worsening of some mental or personality disorder. 7

Could You Have Acute Stress Disorder?

Acute Stress Disorder Topics

Related Conditions

Generalized Anxiety Disorder – Anxiety, Stress, Heart Palpitation, Excessive Worry, Dizziness
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – Obsession, Compulsion, Anxiety, Irrational and Uncontrollable Thoughts
Panic Disorder – Intense Feeling of Anxiety, Panic Attack, Excessive Fear, Palpitation, Rapid Breathing, Racing Thoughts, Dizziness, Blurred Vision
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – Nightmares, Insomnia, Sexual Abuse, Irritation, Social Impairment, Problems with Memory and Concentration, Intrusive Memories, Hyper-Vigilance