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Encyclopedia > Adjustment disorder

In psychology, adjustment disorder refers to a psychological disturbance that develops in response to a stressor. Adjustment disorders are caused by specific sources of stress, such as severe personal crisis (divorce, death of loved one, recent abuse, recent job changes) or major unexpected negative events (tornado or fire destroys a person's home). The usual symptoms mimic depression, anxiety, or sleep disorder; however the disturbance disorder is short-term and can usually be treated with counseling or mild short-term medication. If the problem persists more than six months after removal of the stressor, the person may have a more permanent problem, such as a genuine mood or sleep disorder. Psychology is an academic and applied discipline involving the scientific study of mental processes and behavior. ... In medical terms, stress is a physical or psychological stimulus that can produce mental or physiological reactions that may lead to illness. ... Clinical depression (also called major depressive disorder, or sometimes unipolar when compared with bipolar disorder) is a state of intense sadness, melancholia or despair that has advanced to the point of being disruptive to an individuals social functioning and/or activities of daily living. ... This article includes a list of works cited but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ...


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Psychology Today's Diagnosis Dictionary: Adjustment Disorder (721 words)
Adjustment Disorder often occurs with one of the following: depressed Mood (patient is tearful, sad, hopeless); anxiety (patient is nervous, fearful, worried); mixed anxiety and depressed mood; disturbance of conduct (patient violates rules or rights of others); mixed disturbance of emotions and conduct; unspecified (problems related to job, physical complaints, social isolation).
Adjustment disorders are associated with higher risk of suicide and suicidal behavior; substance abuse; prolonging of other medical disorders or interference with their treatment.
Adjustment disorder is defined as beginning within three months of the onset of an identifiable stressor and lasts no longer that six months after the stressors have ceased.
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