Adjustment disorders are located on a continuum between normal stress reactions and specific psychiatric disorders. Subtypes of adjustment disorder may incorporate depressed and/or anxious mood and disturbed conduct; however, adjustment disorder is not an exacerbation of a preexisting disorder. The presence of full-blown depressive syndrome precludes diagnosis of adjustment disorder.
The stressors that precipitate adjustment disorder are clear and identifiable, but the individual's responses to the stressors are culturally inappropriate and unduly impair functioning.
For more on the diagnosis of adjustment disorder, read here.
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Cite this: Stephen Soreff. Psychiatry Fast Five Quiz: What Do You Know About Adjustment Disorder? - Medscape - Dec 16, 2016.