Adjustment disorder takes center stage following an individual’s inability to cope up with a stressor, for instance, a strenuous life event. Persons with adjustment disorder have depression symptoms; for instance, loss of interest, as well as feelings of hopelessness. At times, this disorder is termed as situational depression, but unlike other forms of depression, situational depression stems from an external stressor (Patricia, 2009). Upon the elimination of that stressor, the individual’s wellbeing is restored (Patricia, 2009).
The underlying symptoms include traumatic stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms. DSM-IV-TR has listed six different subtypes of this disorder. Adjustment disorders and V codes are closely associated. V codes fall under disorders that are associated with conditions of living and were listed on axis I (Varley, 2013). V codes take center stage when there is no mental disorder, or when a patient has a mental disorder that is not related to the problem. V codes allow clinicians to identify other conditions that might affect the diagnosis at hand (Varley, 2013).
Adjustment disorders could be acute or chronic. Acute adjustment disorders occur in less than six months, but chronic ones exceed six months. The six types are manifested by varied disturbances in conduct and emotions, and mixed anxiety and depression. Females are more susceptible to these conditions than males.
DSM-5 was published because DSM-IV could not reflect the shared symptoms of various disorders. First, the term ‘another medical condition’ has replaced the term ‘general medical condition’ (Varley, 2013). Non-axial documentation of diagnosis has been adopted; axes I, II and III have been replaced). There has been the elimination of multi-axial diagnosis. For instance, V codes, which allow clinicians to identify other conditions that might affect the diagnosis at hand (Varley, 2013).
Patricia, C. (2009). Adjustment Disorder: Epidemiology, Diagnosis and Treatment. Review, 1. pp. 1-10.
Varley, K. (2013). Overview of DSM-5 Review. Retrieved on 29 May 2014 from http://www.northstarbehavioral.com/Overview%20of%20DSM%205%20changes%20H O%20Version%20for%20Web%208-13-13.pdf