Tammy was a 52 year old schoolteacher in the Seattle area. Her 24 year old daughter Jill was getting married in 6 weeks to a successful business owner and they were observably happy and in love. Though on the surface everything looked fine, inside Tammy felt increasingly anxious about the upcoming wedding preparations. As the wedding day approached, Tammy became more and more anxious about the myriad of details, worrying about issues that she felt she had little to no control over. A friend told her to go see her doctor and get some help. She did just that, and due to her acute stress levels, connected to a real world event, the doctor observed Tammy to be suffering from “acute stress disorder”, and prescribed the usual antidote which was a benzodiazepine to help calm her nerves.

Acute stress disorder can present with serious symptoms and drawbacks.

The acute stress disorder symptoms did however not abate, and when Tammy was into the second week of her prescription, she had a complete meltdown and ended up in a psychiatric hospital. Doctors told her she’d had a toxic reaction to the drugs, and one specialist felt her prior symptoms were related to early onset menopause. That was over 2 years ago, and not only did Tammy not get to see her daughter’s wedding, she no longer can teach, and is now taking 6 prescription drugs to medicate the various symptoms which drove her life to ruins.

However, numbing medications are not necessary to relieve acute stress disorder symptoms.

When life is lived, one can expect stress levels to rise. Especially when encountering acutely stressful events, such as marriages, funerals, job losses, where the effects of these events may be further underscored by health conditions. This would be like adding fuel to the fire.

If life has become acutely stressful, perhaps a full battery of tests and non invasive, non harmful acute stress disorder treatment options would be a prudent option to consider as a first step. We also offer tapering programs for Ambien withdrawal and many other prescription drugs. Call us today at 1 (800) 301-3753 to find out more about alternative treatments for acute stress disorder.


This content has been reviewed, and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. John Motl, M.D.

Dr Motl is currently certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Psychiatry, and Board eligible in Neurology and licensed in the state of Arizona.  He holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree with a major in biology and minors in chemistry and philosophy. He graduated Creighton University School of Medicine with a Doctor of Medicine.  Dr. Motl has studied Medical Acupuncture at the Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine and at U.C.L.A.

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