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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 1:20 EDT

Adjustment Disorder

Adjustment Disorder is commonly known as situational disorder as well. It is often considered a significantly smaller situation than anxiety disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder with a usually less intense stressor than those of the more extreme disorders.

Symptoms

Because the disorders are similar, Adjustment Disorder and PTSD have similar symptoms like general loss of interest, a feeling of hopelessness, depression, and anxiety. Although they have similar symptoms, Adjustment Disorder is often caused by significantly smaller situations and less intense stressors than that of PTSD and ASD.

Causes

There are six different types of Adjustment Disorders that are all dependent on the situation of the person suffering from the disorder, then each of those types can be broken down into acute or chronic depending on the duration of its presence; less than six months can be considered acute while symptoms lasting longer than six months is considered to be chronic. These adjustment disorders are quite common and numerous risk factors have been identified. It is more common in men than women but children are just as likely to get it. Conflicts in finance and marriage are the most common for adjustment disorder in adults while family, death, school and relationship issues are the most common stressors for younger people.

Treatment

The most common and most endorsed treatment is psychotherapy as it gives the person the opportunity to talk out their emotions. There are many types of therapies that can be used to ‘verbalize’ the stressors in order to fix those problems. Benzodiazepines such as tianeptine, alprazolam and mianserin are also commonly used to treat AD when paired with antidepressants and anxiolytics.

Although there has been research done, there is no specific treatment that is universally guaranteed to work with the individual’s needs.

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Adjustment Disorder