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Acute stress disorder, adjustment disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder 

Acute stress disorder, adjustment disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder
Chapter:
Acute stress disorder, adjustment disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder
Author(s):

Jonathan I. Bisson

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0635
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date: 25 February 2021

Acute stress disorder, adjustment disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder are all psychiatric consequences of traumatic experiences. Because trauma is so common in medical practice, in the form of accidents, severe illness, and sometimes medical and surgical treatments, these disorders are commonly seen by physicians. An initial severe reaction to a traumatic event such as severe accident is an acute stress disorder and is commonly characterized by dissociation. A more long-lasting emotional reaction to ongoing stress such as a new diagnosis of life-threatening illness is termed an adjustment disorder. An often longer-lasting and more severe psychological reaction associated with repeated mental re-experiencing of the traumatic event is called post-traumatic stress disorder. These trauma-related disorders are not only an important cause of suffering but may also complicate medical care, hence they require recognition and appropriate treatment.

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