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AIU Stress Response During Traumatic Events Discussion Response

AIU Stress Response During Traumatic Events Discussion Response

Question Description

Comparison of Similarities and Differences between Acute Stress Disorder (ASD)and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

During and immediately following a traumatic event some form of stress response is to be expected and it might have an impact on your emotional as well as your physical wellbeing. In fact, most people are familiar with the emotional stress response triggered by trauma to be a form of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, not every traumatic stress response can be attributed to PTSD. If the emotional trauma during and immediately following a traumatic event—such as an inability to concentrate or panic attacks in response to any association with the traumatic event—persist for at least two days or up to four weeks, it is more likely acute stress disorder (ASD). While there are some symptom similarities, the diagnosis of PTSD versus ASD has more to do with when emotional limitations occur and how long the symptoms last (Laureate Education Inc. (2012).

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an incapacitating disorder that may occur in individuals who witness or experience dangerous or threatening traumatic events. Individuals who experienced a disaster, witnessed or participated in war, or experienced personal violence are examples of those who might suffer the disorder. There is a biological component to PTSD; the brain structure and function change. The hippocampus gets smaller, the amygdala becomes overactive and thus memory and emotion are affected. Lifelong changes in the brain’s biology result. The frightening event is relived; the individual experiences hyperarousal, fear, and a sense of being unsafe. Memories of the event get muddled because the trauma changes how memories are encoded. Abnormal levels of stress hormones that occur in those with PTSD include lower levels of cortisol (indicating stress exhaustion) and higher levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine (part of the fight or flight response) (Laureate Education Inc. (2012).

Two potential PTSD symptoms that could develop for military service worker

It’s normal to have upsetting memories, feel on edge, or have trouble sleeping after a traumatic event. At first, it may be hard to do normal daily activities, like go to work, go to school, or spend time with people you care about. For many Veterans, memories of their wartime experiences can still be upsetting long after they served in combat. Even if they served many years ago, military experience can still affect the lives of Veterans today (U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, 2012).

Two Interventions Techniques for PTSD

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on the relationships among thoughts, feelings and behaviors; targets current problems and symptoms; and focuses on changing patterns of behaviors, thoughts and feelings that lead to difficulties in functioning. This therapy could be effective because, CBT helps you become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking so you can view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them in a more effective way (APA, nod.).

Prolonged exposure

Prolong exposure is a specific type of cognitive behavioral therapy that teaches individuals to gradually approach trauma-related memories, feelings and situations. This technique might be effective because, by facing what has been avoided, a person Unpublished presumably learns that the trauma-related memories and cues are not dangerous and do not need to be avoided (APA, nod.).


Laureate Education, Inc. (2012) Acute Stress disorder and Posttraumatic Stress disorder. document

Treatment for PTSD-American Psychological Association. Retrieved from https//

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (2012). National Center for PTSD. Retrieved from

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