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      Acute Stress Disorder Revisited

      1 , 2

      Annual Review of Clinical Psychology

      Annual Reviews

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          Abstract

          Acute stress disorder (ASD) was introduced into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) taxonomy in 1994 to address the lack of a specific diagnosis for acute pathological reactions to trauma and the role that dissociative phenomena play both in the short- and long-term reactions to trauma. In this review, we discuss the history and goals of the diagnosis and compare it with the diagnoses of acute stress reaction, combat stress reaction, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We also evaluate the research on the validity and limitations of ASD as a diagnosis, the relationship between peritraumatic dissociation and other symptomatology, the extent to which PTSD is predicted by previous ASD or peritraumatic dissociation, and other important issues such as impairment and risk factors related to ASD. We conclude with our recommendations for changes in DSM-5 criteria and the development of more sophisticated research that considers ASD as but one of two or possibly three common acute posttraumatic syndromes.

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          Most cited references 80

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          SYMPTOMATOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT OF ACUTE GRIEF

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            Emotion modulation in PTSD: Clinical and neurobiological evidence for a dissociative subtype.

            In this article, the authors present evidence regarding a dissociative subtype of PTSD, with clinical and neurobiological features that can be distinguished from nondissociative PTSD. The dissociative subtype is characterized by overmodulation of affect, while the more common undermodulated type involves the predominance of reexperiencing and hyperarousal symptoms. This article focuses on the neural manifestations of the dissociative subtype in PTSD and compares it to those underlying the reexperiencing/hyperaroused subtype. A model that includes these two types of emotion dysregulation in PTSD is described. In this model, reexperiencing/hyperarousal reactivity is viewed as a form of emotion dysregulation that involves emotional undermodulation, mediated by failure of prefrontal inhibition of limbic regions. In contrast, the dissociative subtype of PTSD is described as a form of emotion dysregulation that involves emotional overmodulation mediated by midline prefrontal inhibition of the same limbic regions. Both types of modulation are involved in a dynamic interplay and lead to alternating symptom profiles in PTSD. These findings have important implications for treatment of PTSD, including the need to assess patients with PTSD for dissociative symptoms and to incorporate the treatment of dissociative symptoms into stage-oriented trauma treatment.
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              Disorders of extreme stress: The empirical foundation of a complex adaptation to trauma.

              Children and adults exposed to chronic interpersonal trauma consistently demonstrate psychological disturbances that are not captured in the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis. The DSM-IV (American Psychiatric Association, 1994) Field Trial studied 400 treatment-seeking traumatized individuals and 128 community residents and found that victims of prolonged interpersonal trauma, particularly trauma early in the life cycle, had a high incidence of problems with (a) regulation of affect and impulses, (b) memory and attention, (c) self-perception, (d) interpersonal relations, (e) somatization, and (f) systems of meaning. This raises important issues about the categorical versus the dimensional nature of posttraumatic stress, as well as the issue of comorbidity in PTSD. These data invite further exploration of what constitutes effective treatment of the full spectrum of posttraumatic psychopathology.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Annual Review of Clinical Psychology
                Annu. Rev. Clin. Psychol.
                Annual Reviews
                1548-5943
                1548-5951
                April 27 2011
                April 27 2011
                : 7
                : 1
                : 245-267
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Psychology, Lund University, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden;
                [2 ]National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, California 94303; email:
                Article
                10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-032210-104502
                21275643
                © 2011

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