Diagnosis

 

The most benign group of mental disorders, adjustment disorders are very common in adolescence and respond well to clinical treatment. Still, their diagnosis is critical, and a significant portion of the population carries them over into adulthood (or develops them as adults). A common occurrence of an adjustment disorder in adulthood is what is called the “mid-life crisis.”

 

Adjustment disorders are diagnosed three times as often in adolescents as they are in adults. The conduct problems presented most often by adolescents with adjustment disorders are truancy, drinking, vandalism, outbursts, suspension or expulsion from school, persistent lying, and multiple arrests.

 

Treatment

 

There is disagreement over the recommended or even whether there should be formal treatment at all, but most clinicians agree the best chance for success lies with cognitive behavioral therapy that follows a crisis intervention model.

 

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