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Acute Stress Disorder No Longer Considered a Predictor of PTSD

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For many years, mental health professionals believed that acute stress disorder was a strong predictor of PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder). But researchers no longer see it as such. In fact, it is not a good predictor at all.

One of the primary differences between acute stress disorder and PTSD is the timeframe of symptoms following a traumatic event. Acute stress disorder pertains to the initial symptoms experienced within the first 30 days, whereas PTSD pertains to symptoms that occur after 30 days have passed.

Many different factors, such as the degree of social support, can determine whether or not a person develops PTSD rather than adapts after a traumatic event. This makes it very difficult to predict PTSD.

Acute stress disorder will still be included in the DSM-V, the newest edition of the DSM which will be released in 2013. It's purpose for being there, however, will be different now, according to Dr. Richard A. Bryant of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

Interestingly, aspects of the U.S. health care system are apparently playing a significant role in the decision to keep the acute stress disorder diagnosis in the newest version of the DSM, according to Dr. Bryant.

Dr. Bryant's systematic review of several studies on acute stress disorder was published in the December 14th online Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Read more: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/734905 and http://article.psychiatrist.com/dao_1-login.asp?ID=10007195&RSID=58866011422152

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