Overcome acute stress disorder from the comfort of home.

Feel better in 12 weeks with a personalized treatment plan including medication, therapy, or both.
  • Expert providers
  • Medication delivered
  • Appointments within 48 hours
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What is acute stress disorder?

Everyone processes traumatic experiences in their own way. While some people may be able to cope well with stressful or frightening events, other people may develop what is known as acute stress disorder.

Acute stress disorder (ASD) is a mental health condition that may be a precursor to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). People who struggle with acute stress disorder have recently experienced or witnessed a deeply traumatic event. Examples of such events include natural disasters (e.g. floods, fires, earthquakes), physical or sexual assault, car accidents, the sudden death of a loved one, or receiving a life-threatening diagnosis.

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Mimi Winsberg, MD

Chief Medical Officer
Stanford-trained Psychiatrist with 25 years of practice

The signs & symptoms of acute stress disorder.

The psychological and physical symptoms of ASD can be very distressing to someone. Psychological and behavioral symptoms of ASD may include flashbacks, nightmares or intrusive memories, avoiding anything that reminds them of the event.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty remembering the event
  • Dissociation
  • An inability to experience positive emotions
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating. 

Someone with ASD may also experience physical symptoms such as a pounding heart, nausea, and difficulty breathing.

Acute stress disorder is a common and treatable condition, don’t wait to get the care you need.

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85%of Brightside members feel
better within 12 weeks
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How we treat acute stress disorder.

Once a diagnosis has been established, Acute Stress Disorder is generally treated with therapy, medication, or both. Talk with your provider about the best treatment option for you.

Medication

Antidepressants are shown to be effective in treating the symptoms of acute stress disorder. At Brightside, we use your data and research to find the right medication for you.

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Therapy

We use evidence-based approaches to therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that are proven to be the most effective in treating acute stress disorder.

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Self-Care

A comprehensive approach to care leads to better outcomes. By practicing daily healthy habits and self-care, you can reduce your symptoms of acute stress disorder.

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Commonly prescribed medications.

At Brightside we prescribe over 30 different antidepressant medications. We’ll work with you to find the right medication for your individual needs and symptoms.

Affordable plans to help you feel better.

Starting as low as
$45 / for your first month.


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Whether you choose medication, therapy, or both, our memberships include expert online care designed to help you feel better, faster.

  • Comprehensive video evaluation
  • Personalized treatment plan
  • Unlimited messaging
  • Unlimited video follow-ups with your provider
  • 4 video sessions with your therapist each month
  • Free medication delivery
  • Interactive Therapy lessons
  • Regular progress tracking

FSA/HSA accepted
Cancel anytime

We accept health insurance.

We're on a mission to make anxiety & depression care more affordable for all.
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Getting started is simple.

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Step 1

Fill out a quick questionnaire.

Start by answering a clinically-proven set of questions, which will help us understand your symptoms and recommend a treatment plan with Medication, Therapy, or both.

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Step 2

Meet your provider & start treatment.

Within 48 hours, you’ll have a video consultation where you can share how you’re feeling and decide on next steps together. If prescribed, your medication will be delivered to your door monthly.

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Step 3

Make progress and feel better.

Unlimited messaging, video sessions, and regular check-ins help you stay in touch with your provider so they can monitor your symptoms and adjust until treatment is right for you.

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You’re in good hands. Our licensed providers are experts in treating acute stress disorder.

  • Always see an expert psychiatric provider
  • All therapists hold a master’s degree or higher
  • Licensed in your state and background comprehensively checked
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Laura Purdy, MD

Psychiatrist
Doctor Michael Chen headshot

Michael Chen, MD

Psychiatrist
Doctor Frederica Boso LMHC headshot

Frederica Boso, LMHC

Licensed mental health counselor

Life-changing results from real members.

Read More Reviews
Melissa K.

“A literal life saver. So convenient, so effective, and more involved/high touch than my former psychiatrist was. I should have done this a year sooner.”

Kayla S.

“Brightside has made such a huge improvement on my quality of life. The ease of access, the convenience of the med delivery, and the intelligent check in scoring system all contribute to a next level quality of care.”

Anonymous

“My provider has answered every question I’ve had, listened to worries and concerns and symptoms, assured me and is truly invested in my quality of care. I’ve gone from moderate-severe depression to mild depression in just 2 months.”

Rachael B

“I am so very grateful to have found Brightside. This is the most hopeful I have felt in maybe two years. Brightside isn't just working for me, it saved me. Brightside really turned may life around.”

Tyler K

“My life is so much better after starting with Brightside. My doctor truly cares about my well being and I’m just so grateful for this.”

Life-changing results from real members.

Melissa K.

“A literal life saver. So convenient, so effective, and more involved/high touch than my former psychiatrist was. I should have done this a year sooner.”

Kayla S.

“Brightside has made such a huge improvement on my quality of life. The ease of access, the convenience of the med delivery, and the intelligent check in scoring system all contribute to a next level quality of care.”

Anonymous

“My provider has answered every question I’ve had, listened to worries and concerns and symptoms, assured me and is truly invested in my quality of care. I’ve gone from moderate-severe depression to mild depression in just 2 months.”

Rachael B

“I am so very grateful to have found Brightside. This is the most hopeful I have felt in maybe two years. Brightside isn't just working for me, it saved me. Brightside really turned may life around.”

Tyler K

“My life is so much better after starting with Brightside. My doctor truly cares about my well being and I’m just so grateful for this.”

Read More Reviews

What you need to know.

How is acute stress disorder diagnosed?

A diagnosis of ASD can be made three days to one month after a traumatic event. While ASD is a short-term condition—and many people get better on their own—some people may benefit from timely diagnosis and treatment.

Many of the symptoms of ASD are almost identical to those of PTSD. However, a diagnosis of PTSD will only be considered if the symptoms persist for more than 30 days or first appear more than one month after the trauma has occurred.

Though many people who are diagnosed with ASD do not go on to develop PTSD, it is thought that having ASD may increase a person’s risk of developing PTSD. A prompt diagnosis and treatment of ASD can help people manage the condition and reduce the risk of developing PTSD.

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What are the risk factors for acute stress disorder?

Everyone processes traumatic experiences uniquely, and an event which does not trigger ASD in one person may trigger the condition in another.

With that being said, a variety of factors may increase the risk of someone developing the condition. These factors include:

  • Being female
  • A history of trauma
  • A history of mental health conditions
  • The severity of the traumatic event
  • Neurotic personality traits
  • Avoidance as a coping mechanism
Read More

When to seek help for acute stress disorder.

It is normal to feel afraid or uneasy following a traumatic event. However, if your symptoms have lasted anywhere from three days to one month directly following a traumatic event, you may be suffering from ASD.

Make an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss treatment options that may be right for you.

What are the treatment options for acute stress disorder?

From medication to therapy, there are a variety of treatment options to help with the symptoms of acute stress disorder.

Medication
Medication is not typically a first-line treatment for ASD. If recommended by a healthcare provider at all, benzodiazepines (clonazepam, etc.) will typically be used only in low doses, for the short-term relief of severe anxiety symptoms. Benzodiazepines carry the risk of dependence if used long-term and may also increase the risk of developing PTSD.

Beta-blockers may also be prescribed to help with some of the physical symptoms of ASD, such as a pounding heart, nausea, and difficulty breathing.

Therapy
While there are many different types of therapy, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TFCBT) is the top recommended treatment for ASD. If used in a timely manner, TFCBT has been proven to reduce the likelihood of ASD developing into PTSD.

TFCBT helps someone become aware of and adjust unhelpful thought patterns and behaviors related to the trauma. TFCBT is usually started no sooner than two weeks after the traumatic event, and consists of six weekly sessions of 60 to 90 minutes.

Self-Care, Coping, and Support
Many treatment plans for ASD involve aspects of self-care. Aspects of self-care can include:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Exercising on a regular basis
  • Managing stress & practicing mindfulness
  • Engaging in enjoyable/creative activities
  • Taking prescribed medications correctly and discussing any potential side effects with your healthcare providers
  • Watching for early signs that your symptoms may be worsening, and having a plan in place for how to respond if they do
  • Surrounding yourself with positive and supportive influences
  • Talking to trusted family members and friends about how you are feeling

Personal safety is also a major part of the self-care work when healing from a traumatic event. After a single traumatic episode, people are better able to process the experience when they know that they and their loved ones are safe.

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The Brightside difference.

We designed Brightside to deliver the best psychiatric care available.

Unlimited
access

Receive ongoing online care from hand-selected providers who are experts in treating anxiety & depression.

Precision-
prescribing

Data-driven prescribing that analyzes over 100 unique data points and decades of clinical research to pinpoint your match.

Science-backed
approaches

Build the skills needed to overcome anxiety and depression with an evidence-based approach to therapy that is proven to work.

Measured care for
better outcomes

Track your progress at every step, so you and your provider can make informed decisions and adjust your care until it’s right for you.

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If you’re having a medical or mental health emergency, call 911 or go to your local ER.