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Acute Stress Disorder 

Acute Stress Disorder
Acute Stress Disorder

Richard A. Bryant

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date: 28 January 2022

Acute stress disorder (ASD) was introduced as a new diagnosis in 1994 in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This diagnosis has led to much new research into the nature of acute psychological reactions to trauma, as well as considerable developments in how acute traumatic stress is assessed and treated. This chapter reviews the current diagnostic criteria, the nature of trajectories of traumatic stress responses, known mechanisms of ASD, and prevailing assessment and treatment procedures. This review highlights that the predictive utility of the ASD diagnosis has been challenged by longitudinal research, which has led to marked changes in the definition and goals of the diagnosis in DSM-5. Despite the problems associated with initial conceptualizations of the ASD diagnosis, its introduction has led to novel early intervention strategies for trauma survivors.

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