Acute Stress Disorder Basics

Acute stress disorder occurs when a child has a particularly strong reaction to a stressing event such as a death or illness in the family, a serious injury, natural disaster, or other intensely stressful experience. This reaction, which happens from three days to a month after the event, goes beyond the normal upset you'd expect. It may result not only in difficulties coping with the event, but in impaired ability to function at home, at school and in social settings. Acute Stress Disorder is a less severe and long-lasting condition than the better-known post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).