Defined as a state of emotional distress/reaction that interferes with social functioning, developing within 1 month of a significant life event.
Adjustment disorder usually follows on from Post-traumatic stress disorder.
Adults- financial/marital problems
Adolescents- school/family/sexual issues
Elderly- death of loved one, life changes
No way to predict which people are effected. A person’s susceptibility to stress can be influenced by: flexibility, intelligence, social skills, genetics, coping strategies.
The symptoms must interfere with social functioning:
- Depressed mood
- Trembling or twitching
- Physical complaints
- Potential suicide thoughts or acts
- Symptoms clearly follow a stressor
- Symptoms are more severe than would be expected
- There are no other underlying disorders
- Symptoms are not part of normal grieving for the death of a loved one
Symptoms usually do not last longer than 6 months, unless the stressor continues to be present.
Main goal- relieve symptoms and return patient to similar level of functioning as before the event
- Individual psychotherapy
- Family therapy
- Self-help groups
- Anti-anxiety meds (benzodiazepines)
- Antipsychotics (rarely)