KYW Medical Report Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –In medicine we have a name for everything and most names are not easy to pronounce, yet understand. But acute stress disorder is a name which makes sense.

This is a psychiatric diagnosis that we do not talk about much but it occurs in patients after witnessing, hearing about or being directly exposed to a traumatic event. These can be acts of violence, motor vehicle accidents or anything that has a dramatic effect on a person.

Patients with acute stress disorder can develop feelings of intense fear and helplessness. They can have anxiety or depression as a result. The leading cause far and away is trauma.

Twenty-five percent of robbery victims develop acute stress disorder. The best way to deal with this is to get help. Make sure you get counseling.

It is very difficult to get through this alone.