Article: Adjustment disorder

In psychology, adjustment disorder refers to a psychological disturbance that develops in response to a stressor. Adjustment disorders are caused by specific sources of stress, such as severe personal crisis (divorce, death of loved one, recent abuse) or major unexpected negative events (tornado or fire destroys a person's home). The usual symptoms mimic depression, anxiety, or sleep disorder; however the disturbance disorder is short-term and can usually be treated with counseling or mild short-term medication. If the problem persists more than six months after removal of the stressor, the person may have a more permanent problem, such as a genuine mood or sleep disorder.

Adjustment Disorder

A. The development of emotional or behavioral symptoms in response to an identifiable stressor(s) occurring within 3 months of the onset of the stressor(s). B. These symptoms or behaviors are clinically significant as evidenced by either of the following: (1) marked distress that is in excess of what would be expected from exposure to the stressor (2) significant impairment in social or occupational (academic) functioning C. The stress-related disturbance does not meet the criteria for another specific Axis I disorder and is not merely an exacerbation of a preexisting Axis I or Axis II disorder. D. The symptoms do not represent Bereavement. E. Once the stressor (or its consequences) has terminated, the symptoms do not persist for more than an additional 6 months. Specify if: Acute: if the disturbance lasts less than 6 months Chronic: if the disturbance lasts for 6 months or longer Adjustment Disorders are coded based on the subtype, which is selected according to the predominant symptoms. The specific stressor(s) can be specified on Axis IV.