Adjustment Disorder With Depressed Mood or Anxiety
An adjustment disorder is a serious emotional response to a stressor or multiple stressors (e.g., stressful life events other than someone's death) that can affect someone's feelings, ideas and behavior. This impairment usually doesn't continue indefinitely, although significant impairment can be experienced by someone with an Adjustment Disorder with regard to normal function.
The DSM standards demand that a person must develop symptoms within three months of the start of the event(s) or stressor(s) to be diagnosed with an Adjustment Disorder. Events that activate an Adjustment Disorder are generally the same as those that can trigger a Major Depressive Episode, such as the conclusion of an intimate relationship or professional problems. Stressors are not consistently negative; life events such as moving, retiring, or getting married can also precipitate an Adjustment Disorder. In addition, the diagnostic criteria specify that someone's response is in excess of what would be typically expected. Finally, by definition, once the stressor has finished, a person's symptoms don't last more than an additional six months.
There are a variety of ways that people experience Adjustment Disorders. A diagnosis of Adjustment Disorder With Depressed Mood is proper, if a person with Adjustment Disorder is experiencing largely depressive symptoms in response to the stressor. Similarly, a man with prevailing stress symptoms like worry that is excessive or nervousness will be given a diagnosis of Adjustment Disorder With Anxiety.
Since anxiety and depression can co-occur, monitoring for signs of a Major Depressive Episode continues to be significant if someone has a diagnosis of an Adjustment Disorder. For example, an individual become really homesick, may have trouble coping with going away to school and receive a diagnosis of Adjustment Disorder With Depressed Mood. If the depressive symptoms become more acute or continue beyond six months, the analysis may be rewritten as Dysthymic Disorder as class warrant and the symptoms or Major Depression. Hence, Adjustment Disorder investigations, replaced with more specific diagnoses when adequate information to support those more particular labels becomes clear and like NOS analyses, can be made on a provisional basis.
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