Adjustment Disorder with Anxiety

  • John R. Vanin
Part of the Current Clinical Practice book series (CCP)

Adjustment disorder with anxiety is not an official category of anxiety disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, text revision (DSM-IV-TR). It is a common subthreshold disorder, however, and can be associated with significant psychopathology. It is an important disorder for the primary care practitioner to recognize and treat.

An adjustment disorder is defined as a psychological response to an identifiable psychosocial stressor [1,2]. It is a subthreshold diagnosis and it lies in a “gray” zone. The symptoms are clinically significant, develop within 3 months of a stressor’s onset, and persist for no more than 6 months once the stressor is terminated. Adjustment disorder symptoms are marked by distress, or significant social, occupational, or academic dysfunctioning beyond what would be expected for a given stressor (Table 6.1) [1]. A primary care practitioner must recognize that an adjustment disorder is a residual diagnostic category...


Anxiety Disorder Personality Disorder Adjustment Disorder Primary Care Practitioner General Medical Condition 
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  1. 1.
    American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed., text revision. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association, 2000.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Garlow SJ, Purselle D, D'Orio B. Psychiatric emergencies. In: Schatzberg AF, Nemeroff CB, eds. Textbook of Psychopharmacology, 3rd ed. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing, 2004:1067–1082.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Strain JJ, Newcorn J. Adjustment disorders. In: Hales RE, Yudofsky SC, eds. Textbook of Clinical Psychiatry, 4th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing, 2003:765–780.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Humana Press 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • John R. Vanin
    • 1
  1. 1.West Virginia University Student Health ServiceMorgantownUSA

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