Holistic Acute Stress Disorder Treatment

In the weeks following a traumatic event, some individuals may develop a condition known as Acute Stress Disorder. As with PTSD, acute stress disorder is caused by witnessing or experiencing an event that creates intense fear, horror, or hopelessness.

Unlike PTSD, however, a diagnosis of acute stress disorder is only considered from three days to one month following the traumatic incident. Symptoms lasting longer than a month would indicate the possibility of PTSD or another mental health condition.

Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms fall into five general categories – intrusion, negative mood, dissociation, avoidance, arousal – and include:

  • feeling numb, detached, or being emotionally unresponsive
  • reduced awareness of surroundings
  • derealization: your environment seeming strange or unreal
  • feeling disconnected from your own thoughts or emotions
  • dissociative amnesia


Acute stress disorder can be effectively treated with a combination of psychotherapy, psychiatric interventions and integrative services. Therapeutic modalities including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) have a very high success rate in the treatment of acute stress disorder, while a number of medications have proven to be useful in alleviating symptoms. Through True Life’s neurobiological approach to healing, patients with acute stress disorder can learn to move their body from “fight or flight” mode to safety and calm. Patients with acute stress disorder learn to mitigate trauma’s impact on the mind and body, and develop strategies for sustainable health practices.