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Adjustment Disorder

  1. Adjustment disorders are one of the commoner psychiatric disorders seen in the clinical practice.
  2. They are most frequently seen in adolescents and women.
  3. Although adjustment disorder is often precipitated by one or more stressors, it usually represents a maladaptive response to the stressful life event(s).
  4. In ICD-10, this disorder is characterised by those disorders which occur within 1 month of a significant life change (stressor).
  5. This disorder usually occurs in those individuals who are vulnerable due to poor coping skills or personality factors. It is assumed that the disorder would not have arisen in the absence of the stressor(s).
  6. The duration of the disorder is usually less than 6 months, except in the case of prolonged depressive reaction.
  7. The various subtypes include brief or prolonged depressive reaction, mixed anxiety and depressive reaction, and adjustment disorder with predominant disturbance of other emotions and/or predominant disturbance of conduct.
  8.  In this symptoms are sub syndromal and the moment patient meets a criteria for syndromal diagnosis.
  9. The main Diagnosis is Considered.
  10. Most patients recover within a period of six months.
  1. Supportive psychotherapy remains the treatment of choice.
  2. Crisis intervention is useful in some patients, by helping to quickly resolve the stressful life situation which has led to the onset of adjustment disorder.
  3. Stress management training and Coping skills training.
  4. Drug treatment may be needed in some patients for the management of anxiety (benzodiazepines) and/or depressive symptoms (antidepressants). 

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