Acute Stress Disorder

Help for Troubled Teens

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Shepherd’s Hill Academy – Residential Therapeutic Christian Boarding School

Acute Stress Disorder goes far beyond ordinary stress.  It is a condition marked by extreme anxiety that often produces withdrawal, depression and an emotionally blank state.  Most frequently Acute Stress Disorder follows a serious traumatic event or loss, especially one which the teen personally observes or experiences, such as a death or life-threatening injury.  It can share symptoms with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, including one of more of the following:

  • Persistent reliving of events
  • Efforts to avoid reminders of the source event
  • Hyper arousal in response to stressors and reminders of the underlying event

Because of the symptoms they are dealing with, particularly their feelings of withdrawal and disengagement, a teen suffering from Acute Stress Disorder is not likely to ask for help or actively seek out treatment.  Intervention by a parent, teacher, social worker, or therapeutic program is usually required before treatment can begin.  Treatment of such stress disorders may commonly include a combination of various medications as well as both individual and group therapy.  Treatment can include training in cognitive restructuring or exposure therapy.  Treatment often runs for five or six weeks, and then an evaluation will be performed to help determine progress and to rule out other underlying disorders.

Teens may suffer with many issues as a result of Acute Stress Disorder.  These include disassociation—a condition that affects memory, sense of reality and sense of identity; depersonalization—a sense that the self is not real or is changing; and derealization—a sense that the world surrounding them is not real.  This can be very difficult for parents, as their relationship with the teen will be affected by the changes brought about by the stress disorder.  Parental involvement in the instigating trauma can complicate both treatment and relationship of the stress situation involved in Acute Stress Disorder.

Acute Stress Disorder

Shepherd's Hill Academy


To learn more about Shepherd’s Hill Academy, please contact us or fill in the online inquiry form. You can also call us at (706) 703-4188.  Be sure to view the Programs pages of our website.  If our program is full, or not the right fit, we can help you find the right program for your child.


 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone; the new has come” – II Corinthians 5:17




Though most of our students come from states in the southeast like Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), South Carolina (SC), North Carolina (NC) and Texas (TX), we’ve enrolled teens from the southwest in states like Arizona (AZ), New Mexico (NM), and California (CA), in the midwest and northwest, Illinois (IL), Nebraska (NE), Minnesota (MN), and Washington (WA). We can enroll teens throughout the U.S.