Acute Stress Disorder goes far beyond ordinary stress. It is a condition marked by extreme anxiety that often produces withdrawal, depression, and an emotionally blank state.
Most frequently Acute Stress Disorder follows a serious traumatic event or loss, especially one which the teen personally observes or experiences, such as a death or life-threatening injury. It can share symptoms with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, including one or more of the following: a persistent reliving of events, efforts to avoid reminders of the source event, and hyperarousal in response to stressors and reminders of the underlying event; however, it is differentiated by disassociation and length of the condition.
Because of the symptoms, they are dealing with, particularly their feelings of withdrawal and disengagement, a teen suffering from Acute Stress Disorder is not likely to ask for help or actively seek out treatment. Intervention by a parent, teacher, social worker, or therapeutic program is usually required before treatment can begin. Treatment of such stress disorders may commonly include a combination of various medications as well as both individual and group therapy. Treatment can include training in cognitive restructuring or exposure therapy. Treatment often runs for five or six weeks, and then an evaluation will be performed to help determine progress.
Acute Stress Disorder creates many issues for teens who are suffering from it. These include disassociation—a condition that affects memory, sense of reality, and sense of identity; depersonalization—a sense that the self is not real or is changing; and derealization—a sense that the world surrounding them is not real. This can be very difficult for parents, as their relationship with the teen will be affected by the changes brought about by the stress disorder. Parental involvement in instigating trauma can complicate both treatment and the relationship of the stress situation involved in Acute Stress Disorder.
The goal of the Caribbean Mountain Academy program is to equip students for a healthy life. Our goal is not to solve all of their problems but help them to be able to work through things in a healthy way while becoming healthy themselves. We do this by teaching them how to identify a good vs. a poor choice. Showing them how to navigate those situations and walk out better choices. We then allow them to practice those skills and then prepare them for reintegration into everyday life.