Teen Acute Stress Disorder Treatment
What is acute stress disorder? An overwhelming sense of stress, fear, and panic, beginning after a traumatic or disturbing event. The severity of these symptoms are such that they impair a person’s ability to function and engage normally in everyday life. This is considered a precursor to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
What It Looks Like
Continuing to Feel and/or Suffer The Experience
A person can re-experience the traumatic event in dreams, flashbacks, overwhelming thoughts, and returning to a place or object that serves as a trigger to the event.
Because reminders of the event can add to the sense of panic a person is experiencing, withdrawal from other people, places, and/or events is a common response.
Over-Sensitivity or Awareness
As if in an effort to prevent the traumatic event from happening again, a person can become nearly obsessed with their environment, leading to constant anxiety, insomnia, and persistent stress.
What Causes It?
The cause of Acute Stress Disorder is what defines it: an extremely stressful event that basically upsets the system, disrupting a person’s normal functioning because of the severity of the event.
Teen Acute Stress Disorder Treatment
Many approaches to Teen Acute Stress Disorder Treatment are relaxation based, which help a person to slowly let go of some of the insistent, relentless thoughts that produce their feelings of anxiety and fear. The different forms of talk therapy (such as breathing, visualization, and imaging) can be extremely helpful in providing a person with relief and also, empowering them to slow their minds in order to calmly address their feelings.
Acute Stress Disorder is considered the precursor to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which means that the severity of the stress and symptoms are continuing to persist and even worsen, also making them harder to treat. This is one reason why early treatment can help minimize the time and severity of what a person experiences, following such a difficult event.
In certain cases, a person can gain relief from taking medication for Acute Stress Syndrome symptoms, which can help lay the groundwork for improvement during talk therapy to occur. Because this Syndrome is specifically related with a traumatic event, it’s not recommended to just take medication without also addressing the event, and its after-effects, with a therapist.
The point is I don’t want to think about the event. So how am I going to do talk therapy?
The way we look at it is that there are some things you can control and some you can’t. What you can’t control is the awful, traumatic event that you experienced, because it’s in the past. Although it’s understandable to want to avoid painful memories, if you’re experiencing such strong symptoms following the event as to be diagnosed with Acute Stress Disorder, then you’re not successfully avoiding it anyway. What you can control, with the help of a therapist, is the way you’re going to move forward now, with what happened then. A therapist can help figure out the best ways to help you explore that traumatic territory in healthy ways, so you can begin to feel like you have power over the way you address your feelings, rather than those feelings having power over you.
What if it gets worse and becomes PTSD?
If the disorder develops into PTSD, then you will still be able to get treatment, and there’s still every possibility of recovery. However, PTSD (because it is more advanced) can be more difficult to treat, which is why seeking treatment early can make it easier on you, in the long run.
Will my life ever go back to being like it was before this happened?
It’s hard to say whether you’ll go back to life as it was before, but many people are able to return to living healthy, normal, happy lives, following traumatic events and suffering from Acute Stress Disorder. At Paradigm, we hope that you will go back to living your life, perhaps changed, but even stronger than you were in your life before.