Adjustment disorder

Definition of Adjustment disorder

Adjustment disorder is an emotional and behavioral reaction that develops within 3 months of a life stress, and which is stronger or greater than what would be expected for the type of event that occurred.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Adults often develop adjustment disorder due to marital or financial problems.

Symptoms

For a diagnosis of adjustment disorder, a person’s symptoms must be severe enough to affect his or her work or social life. Some of the symptoms include:

Signs and tests

The following criteria need to be met to establish a diagnosis:

Treatment

The main goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms and help the person return to a similar level of functioning as before the stressful event occurred.

Expectations (prognosis)

Adjustment disorders usually get better quickly without any remaining symptoms.

Review

Fred K. Berger, MD, Addiction and Forensic Psychiatrist, Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 2/14/2010

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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