Adjustment Disorder

ADJUSTMENT DISORDER


ADJUSTMENT DISORDER

  • Disorders characterized by emotional responses to stressful events like financial problems, medical illness, relationship problems or death of a loved one.

Symptoms:

  • Symptom complex includes anxiety & depressive symptoms.
  • Depressed mood
  • Worry
  • Feeling of inability to cope.
  • Disturbance in individuals daily functioning.

Differential diagnosis:

Depression – 

  • Depression follows negative life event.
  • Differentiated by delineating uncomplicated bereavement/grief reactions.

In uncomplicated bereavement:

  • Symptoms & dysfunctions developing are within expected limits.

In adjustment disorder:

  • Symptoms & dysfunction are beyond expectable reaction to stressor.

Other differential diagnosis:

  • PTSD
  • Brief psychotic disorders.
  • Diagnoses should be given precedence if their diagnostic criterion are met, irrespective of stressors presence.

Treatment:

  • Psychotherapy – Treatment of choice.
    • Supportive psychotherapy commonly used.

Medications

  • Adjuvant to psychotherapy.
  • Antidepressants & antianxiety drugs.

Exam Important

  • Disorders characterized by emotional responses to stressful events like financial problems, medical illness, relationship problems or death of a loved one.
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