Acute stress reaction, adjustment disorder

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Acute stress disorder (ASD) (F43.0)[edit | edit source]

  • Stressor: same as in PTSD (see PTSD for more information)
  • can progress into PTSD, especially if left untreated
  • according to the DSM-V there are various criteria that need to be met in order to diagnose it
    • Time: > 3 days but < 1 month (PTSD > 1 month)
    • Specific symptoms (at least 9 out of 14) in the category of intrusive thoughts, negative emotions, arousal, avoidance and dissociation
      • Intrusion: intrusive thoughts: flashbacks, intrusive thoughts (recollection of psychotraumatic events)
      • Negative effect on mood and cognition: distorted memories, negative thoughts or expectations, constant negative emotions
      • Dissociation
      • avoidance: e.g. not talking about it, not going to the place
      • arousal: irritability (not anxiety, angry outbursts), hypervigilance, sleep disturbance

Adjustment disorder (AD) (F43.2)[edit | edit source]

  • Stressor
    • usually non-life threatening (not PTSD) → mood change (but not mood disorder), no grief → therefore a diagnosis of exclusion
  • Examples
    • break-up (marriage, long relationship), children moving out of home, getting fired from the job
  • Symptoms and Diagnostic criteria
    • mood or behavioral changes that do not fit the criteria of other mental disorders (e.g. Major depressive episode, dysthymia, general anxiety disorder)
    • reaction is disproprotionate to the expected response to the trigger (e.g. losing job)
    • occurs within 3 months of onset of the stress, lasting less than 6 months