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What is adjustment disorder ?
Adjustment disorder is an abnormal and excessive reaction to an identifiable life stressor. The reaction is more severe than would normally be expected and can result in significant impairment in social, occupational, or academic functioning.
An identifiable stressful life event or life change that occurred within the previous three months is must to be diagnosed with adjustment problem.

In this modern age of competitions & complexities, it is very common to develop adjustment problem on any stressful challenges of life.

Also, the severity of stress that can lead to adjustment problem varies from person to person. Appointment of new boss who is strict in your office, death of your beloved one, shift from one home to another after marriage, change of school, financial debt, relational breakage, demotion and promotion in job etc are few common trigger for adjustment failure here in India.

What are the types of Adjustment Disorder ?

Adjustment disorder can be acute (lasting less than six months) or chronic (lasting longer than six months). Keep in mind that the definition of adjustment disorder does not allow the symptoms to last longer than six months after the stressor has terminated. A chronic diagnosis is only allowed if the stressful event or life change is persistent. In addition to an acute and chronic diagnosis, there are six sub-types of adjustment disorder that are classified by the predominant symptoms you are experiencing.

The six sub-types are:https://sites.google.com/site/psychiatristaiimspatna/adjustment-disorder

  1. Adjustment disorder with depressed mood
  2. Adjustment disorder with anxiety
  3. Adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood
  4. Adjustment disorder with disturbance of conduct
  5. Adjustment disorder with mixed disturbance of emotions and conduct
  6. Unspecified adjustment disorder (problematic thinking and behavior that is not classifiable by the other adjustment disorder sub-types

What Causes adjustment problems ?

Adjustment disorder develops as a reaction to a stressful life event or a major life change. Events or changes that may cause you to develop adjustment disorder include:https://sites.google.com/site/psychiatristaiimspatna/adjustment-disorder

    • Relationship problem
    • Marital problems
    • Divorce
    • Family conflict
    • Sexuality issues
    • Health problems
    • Death of a loved one
    • Unexpected catastrophes
    • Financial problems
    • Work changes
    • School changes
    • Moving
    • Major life changes
    • General life changes
    • Ongoing stressful life events

Who are at the risk ?

Research is limited on how often adjustment disorder occurs, although it is thought to be a common condition. Children and adults of both sexes suffer from it equally, but there is no way to determine who will develop adjustment disorder in response to a stressor. Certain factors increase your susceptibility to developing the disorder. Risk factors include:

What are the symptoms ?
Symptoms of adjustment disorder vary according to the sub-type. You may experience one or more of the following symptoms if you have adjustment disorder:

How adjustment disorder can be identified ?

https://sites.google.com/site/psychiatristaiimspatna/adjustment-disorderYour healthcare provider will ask you questions to determine if you meet the criteria for a diagnosis of adjustment disorder.
You must meet all of the following criteria to be diagnosed with adjustment disorder:
  • Your symptoms must have developed within three months of the stressor
  • Your symptoms are more severe than would normally be expected in reaction to your stressor and is causing distress, social impairment, or occupational impairment
  • Yyour symptoms are not caused or exacerbated by another disorder
  • Your symptoms are not part of the normal grieving and sorrow experienced after the death of a loved one

What Are The Treatment Option Available ?

The goal of treatment for adjustment disorder is to relieve your symptoms and to help you develop coping skills for the future. Treatment options for adjustment disorder include:

Psycho-therapeutic Counseling

Psycho-therapeutic counseling helps you to identify your stressors, learn coping skills, and get support. Forms of psycho-therapeutic counseling include:


Your healthcare provider may prescribe medications to help relieve your symptoms while you are undergoing psychotherapeutic counseling. Medications are rarely used as a sole treatment for adjustment disorder, because they only temporarily relieve the symptoms, unlike psychotherapeutic therapy, which provides long-term or permanent relief of symptoms. Medications that might be prescribed to you include:

  1. Anti anxiety medicines
  2. Antidepressant medicines
  3. Anti psychotic medicines (uncommon)
  4. Stimulants (if you are withdrawn)


Most adults respond well to treatment for adjustment disorder and have a good long-term prognosis, while adolescents may not respond as well to treatment and may develop major psychiatric illnesses.


There is no known guaranteed way to prevent adjustment disorder. You may be able to reduce your risk of developing the disorder by doing the following:

  • Seek support from family and friends
  • Talk to a healthcare professional if you start to feel stressed
  • Try to have a flexible attitude regarding where your life will lead
  • Think positively
  • Live a healthy lifestyle (healthy diet and exercise)
  • Adopt DIY (Do It Yourself) Policy
  • Live Happily, Let Other to Live in Happiness