First Time User? Enroll now.
COVID-19: Vaccine information, visitor restrictions, testing, and additional resources
Home > Health Library > Acute Stress Disorder (ASD)
Acute stress disorder (ASD) is a short-term mental health condition that can happen after a traumatic event. This is an event in which someone is threatened or badly injured, like a car crash. People with ASD may have flashbacks or feel like they're reliving the event. ASD lasts less than 1 month.
You can get ASD if you witness or go through a traumatic event. You also can get it if you learn that a loved one had a traumatic event. People who are exposed to lots of traumatic events can also get ASD. For instance, this can happen to police officers and health care workers.
Your doctor will ask you about the traumatic event. You'll also be asked about your symptoms, how long you've had them, and how they affect your life. Your doctor may ask if you have other conditions, like a brain injury.
When you have acute stress disorder, you may:
If your symptoms last longer than 1 month, tell your doctor. You may have another condition called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
ASD is treated with counseling. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common type of counseling for ASD. It focuses on changing certain thoughts and behaviors. This can help with the symptoms. CBT also may help prevent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Medicines are sometimes used to treat ASD.
Current as of:
February 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Andrew Littlefield PhD - Psychology, Behavioral HealthLesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: February 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Andrew Littlefield PhD - Psychology, Behavioral Health & Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.