Stress reactions

Stress reactions

Acute stress disorder:
Rapid onset of responses to a sudden and severe stressful event(s).
Develop an intense anxiety with autonomic arousal (vomiting, dry mouth, sweating, tachycardia) – become dazed, disorientated and can wander without aim.
Management – reassurance, support, anxiolytics (for 2 weeks)

Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):
Occurs weeks to months after stressful event (may rarely be years later).
DSM-IV & ICD-10 require that the event may be exceptionally severe. Risk of developing is proportional to the magnitude of the stressor.

Clinical features:
Persistent intrusive thinking and reliving the trauma; avoidance of the reminders of the event; persistent anxiety with autonomic symptoms; sleep disturbance; irritability; poor concentration; ‘numbness’.

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