Encyclopedia of Psychopharmacology

2015 Edition
| Editors: Ian P. Stolerman, Lawrence H. Price

Adjustment Disorders

  • James J. Strain
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-36172-2_357


Anxiety or mixed states; Reactive depressions; Stress-related mood disorders


In DSM-5, the adjustment disorders (AD) have been placed in the chapter with the “Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders” that also include reactive attachment disorder, disinhibited social engagement disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), acute stress disorder, and other stress and related disorders. The AD emanate from a known stressor including those of a catastrophic type and result in dysfunction at work, at school, or at the social level (e.g., interpersonal functioning) and/orpersonal distress within 3 months of the stressor. (In the ICD-10, onset must occur within 1 month of exposure to an identifiable stressor.) They can be further defined by the accompanying mood state, e.g., depressed, anxious, or mixed; by the presence of a disturbance of conduct; or by the absence of these predominating features, in which case they are considered unspecified. (In DSM-5 unspecified has...

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Further Reading

  1. American Psychiatric Association (2013) Diagnostic and statistical manual fifth edition. American Psychiatric Association, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  2. Friedman MJ, Spiegel D, Ursano R, Strain J (2011a) A review of acute stress disorder in DSM-5. Depress Anxiety 28:802–817PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Friedman MJ, Resick PA, Bryant RA, Strain JJ, Horowitz M, Spiegel D (2011b) Classification of trauma and stressor-related disorders in DSM-5. Depress Anxiety 28:737–749PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Gonzales-Jaimes EI, Turnbull-Plaza B (2003) Selection of psychotherapeutic treatment for adjustment disorder with depressive mood due to acute myocardial infarction. Arch Med Res 34:298–304Google Scholar
  5. Kovacs M, Ho V, Pollock MH (1995) Criterion and predictive validity of the diagnosis of adjustment disorder: a prospective study of youths with new-onset diabetes mellitus. Am J Psychiatry 152:523–528PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Maercker A, Einsle F, Kollner V (2006) Adjustment disorders as stress response syndromes: a new diagnostic concept and its exploration in a medical sample. Psychopathology 627:135–146Google Scholar
  7. Maina G, Forner F, Bogetto F (2005) Randomized controlled trial comparing brief dynamic and supportive therapy with waiting list condition in minor depressive disorders. Psychother Psychosom 74:43–50PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Mihelich ML (2000) Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing treatment of adjustment disorder. Diss Abstr Int 61:1091Google Scholar
  9. Nguyen N, Fakra E, Pradel V et al (2006) Efficacy of etifoxine compared to lorazepam monotherapy in the treatment of patients with adjustment disorders with anxiety: a double-blind controlled study in general practice. Hum Psychopharmacol 21:139–149PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Popkin MK, Callies AL, Colon EA et al (1990) Adjustment disorders in medically ill patients referred for consultation in a university hospital. Psychosomatics 31:410–414PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Strain JJ, Friedman MJ (2011) Considering adjustment disorders as stress response syndromes for DSM – 5. Depress Anxiety 28:818–823PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Strain JJ, Newcorn J, Mezzich J et al (1998) Adjustment disorder: the McArthur reanalysis. In: DSM-IV source book, vol 4. American Psychiatric Association, Washington, DC, pp 404–424Google Scholar
  13. Strain JJ, Klipstein K, Newcorn J (2009) Adjustment disorders. In: Gelder MG, Lopez-Ibor JJ, Andreasen NC (eds) The New Oxford textbook of psychiatry. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 716–724Google Scholar
  14. Zinbarg RE, Barlow DH, Liebowitz M et al (1994) The DSM-IV field trial for mixed anxiety-depression. Am J Psychiat 151:1153–1162PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA