Adjustment disorder: Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests

Symptoms & Signs

For a diagnosis of adjustment disorder, a person’s symptoms must be severe enough to affect his or her work or social life. Some of the symptoms include:

* Agitation
* Conduct disturbances
* Depressed mood
* Palpitations
* Physical complaints
* Trembling or twitching

Symptoms of adjustment disorder typically begin within 3 months of the stressor, and usually do not last longer than 6 months, unless the stressor continues to be present (such as an illness or living in a dangerous neighborhood).

On occasion, symptoms can be severe and the person may have thoughts of suicide or make a suicide attempt.

Diagnosis & Tests

The following criteria need to be met to establish a diagnosis:

* The symptoms clearly follow a stressor
* The symptoms are more severe than would be expected
* There do not appear to be other underlying disorders
* The symptoms are not part of normal grieving for the death of a loved one

Adjustment disorder: Overview, Causes

Adjustment disorder: Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests

Adjustment disorder: Treatment

Review Date : 2/14/2010
Reviewed By : Fred K. Berger, MD, Addiction and Forensic Psychiatrist, Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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