Term of Art: Acute Stress Disorder

“acute stress disorder: A transient anxiety disorder following exposure to a traumatic event, with a similar pattern of symptoms to post-traumatic stress disorder plus symptoms of disassociation (such as dissociative amnesia, depersonalization, derealization) but occurring within four weeks of the traumatic event. If the symptoms persist beyond four weeks, then a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder may be considered.

[From the Latin acutus sharpened, from acuere, to sharpen, from acus a needle]”

Excerpted from: Colman, Andrew M., ed. Oxford Dictionary of Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

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