Short Description or Definition
Adjustment disorders are defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association 2013) by patterns of clinically significant behavioral or emotional symptoms related to a distinct stressor. The behavioral or emotional response is usually disruptive to everyday functioning, disproportionate to the intensity or severity of the stressor, and must begin within 3 months of the stressor’s onset. Symptoms do not last for longer than 6 months from the time the stressor or its consequences have resolved. The adjustment disorder may be characterized by depressed mood, anxiety, mixed anxiety and depressed mood, disturbance of conduct, mixed disturbance of emotions and conduct, or otherwise unspecified. The adjustment disorder is specified to be “acute” if the pattern of response lasts less than 6 months or “persistent” if longer than 6 months. Adjustment disorders are...