Acute Anxiety Disorder is also known as Acute Stress Disorder
Acute anxiety disorder is characterized with the development of characteristic anxiety and other symptoms that occur within one month after exposure to an extreme traumatic stressor (car accident, war, earthquake, and flood, loss of loved one, divorce and so on).
Right from the start it is important to make a distinction between Acute Stress Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The main diagnostic difference between these two disorders is the time of onset of symptoms and their duration.
In Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms onset is usually months or even years after the traumatic event, whereas in Acute Stress Disorder symptoms occur within one month after the exposure to a traumatic event. In other words a diagnosis of Acute Stress Disorder is appropriate only in case of symptoms that occur within one month of the traumatic experience.
People that experience a traumatic event often don’t realize that they are traumatized until their symptoms of anxiety and depression start showing up. To prevent the onset of symptoms and development of anxiety or depression disorder one should seek psychological help as soon as they can.
A traumatic event or any other event that is filled with intense emotions always affects an individual that experiences those kinds of events. Highly emotionally charged events are shaping an individual’s personality and causing many physical and of course psychological changes.
There is one analogy with head injury that explains the importance of getting psychological help and guidance after the traumatic event as soon as possible.
When someone suffers a blow to their head no matter if there is blood or not, he or she should go and have their head examined and scanned. This is because a head injury doesn’t need to be obvious to be fatal. One can walk away from the accident site and die in his sleep due to his head injury.
After experiencing an emotional trauma one can go through extreme emotional hardships and crisis if they don’t get psychological help. The sooner the psychological help is provided the better the prognosis is.