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    Adjustment Disorder

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    Understanding Adjustment Disorder

    There may be times when children, or even adults, may have a very difficult time adjusting to a stressor in their lives.  Because of this, an individual can actually suffer from different behavioral or emotional responses that cause a lot of distress, or impairment in their lives. While this may sound relatively easy to understand, there are a few different aspects that need to be taken into consideration when it comes to adjustment disorder. Below is a list of the many different subtypes that may be seen.


    1.)    With depressed mood

    2.)    With anxiety

    3.)    With a combination of depressed mood and anxiety

    4.)    With conduct disruptions

    5.)    With a combination of complications with their emotions and their conduct

    6.)    Unspecified type

    Now, the above subtypes will be decided once an adjustment disorder has been properly diagnosed.  Because of that, there are several different symptoms that must be met in order to make an accurate diagnosis. The following information will outline the criteria that must be met in order for someone to be diagnosed with an adjustment disorder.


    1.)    The individual will begin to have emotional, or even behavioral, changes within three months of being exposed to the stressor.

    2.)    The symptoms, and behaviors, are significant and they will do one of the following:

    1. The stress that is experienced is much greater than what is expected for the stressor.
    2. The individual will have a very difficult time functioning at school, work, or even socially.

    3.)    The disturbances that are seen are not better identified as an AXIS I disorder or they are not simply an exacerbation of an AXIS I or AXIS II disorder that the person already has.

    4.)    Bereavement is not present

    5.)    When the stressor is gone, the individual will not have symptoms for more than six months.