Acute stress reaction

A transient disorder which develops in response to exceptional physical and/or mental stress and which usually subsides within hours or days. The stressor may be an overwhelming traumatic experience such as a war, a natural catastrophe, rape, multiple bereavement, or fire. The symptoms show great variation but typically include an initial "daze" state with some constriction of the field of consciousness and narrowing of attention, inability to comprehend stimuli, and disorientation. Autonomic signs of panic may also be present. The symptoms usually subside within minutes, but can last hours or up to two or three days. No treatment is usually necessary.

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