Difference between Adjustment Disorder and Depression (With Table)

There are various disorders that occur in humans and are dealt with differently as they are caused by different things.

Adjustment disorder and depression are both mental disorders triggered by stressors and cause a certain degree of impairment concerning the performance of daily tasks.

So, what is the main difference between adjustment disorder and depression? Adjustment disorder traditionally resolves within six months while depression lasts longer and is resolved with professional treatment.

For more information about the difference between adjustment disorder and depression in tabular form, continue reading the article. You will also get to learn of the similarities between the two.

You May Also Like: Difference between Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure

Comparison Table (Adjustment Disorder vs Depression)

Basic TermsAdjustment DisorderDepression
DurationIt lasts for a shorter time.It lasts for a longer time.
Cause It is triggered by an identifiable life change such as a job change or divorce.It is triggered by environmental, genetic, and psychological factors.
Diagnostic featuresIt is characterized by low mood, tearfulness, or hopefulness due to a traumatic event.It is characterized by being sad, empty, and irritable feelings accompanied by significant negative cognitive and somatic changes.
DSM5 classificationIt is under trauma and stressor-related disorders.It includes disruptive mood dysregulation disorder.
SeverityOften resolves after some months and talk therapy results in an improvement.May last longer and have higher suicide risks.
TreatmentThey do not require clinical intervention and resolves after joining support groups.It requires longer and more in-depth management.

What is Adjustment Disorder?

Adjustment disorder is a mental problem that is caused by an identifiable life change such as job change, divorce, unemployment, or change of community.

It is due to an individual unable to cope with new life situations. It is a situational depression as it is caused by a stressful condition.

It may also be referred to as exogenous as it is caused by external factors. The emotional or behavioral symptoms show up three months at the onset of the stressor.

The patient experience significant impairment in various areas of functioning for instance work and family.

The symptoms do not last for more than six months. The disorder often gets better without clinical intervention. Some achieve recovery after several lifestyle changes and joining support groups.

When the condition is severe then there is a need to consult a psychotherapist and may be given prescriptions for anxiety and depression.

What is Depression?

Depression is a mental disorder that is triggered by environmental, genetic, or psychological factors. It takes time for the symptoms to start showing up.

It is generally characterized by sadness, emptiness, irritable mood, and negative somatic and cognitive changes.

There are various kinds of depressive disorders. Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder is mainly characterized by continuous irritability and temper outbursts and lasts for about 12 months.

Major depressive disorder is characterized by moods, feelings of worthlessness, and lack of interest for most of the days. The patient may have significant weight loss or gain, insomnia, psychomotor retardation, and fatigue.

Persistent depressive disorder is more like major depressive disorder as the symptoms are more like the same and they last at least for 2 weeks.

The premenstrual dysphoric disorder is experienced in women. The symptoms are irritability, depressed mood, anger, anxiety, loss of interest, difficulty in concentration, loss of appetite, change of sleeping pattern, and bloating during the final week before the beginning of menses.

All these kinds of depression may be severe and need longer and more in-depth management. Some patients may be hospitalized due to self-harm behaviors. Some patients have normally prescribed antidepressants alongside therapy.

Difference between Adjustment Disorder and Depression

  1. Adjustment disorder is less severe while depression is more severe.
  2. Adjustment disorder is due to the inability of an individual to cope up with a new life situation while depression may occur without an identifiable stressor.
  3. Adjustment disorder lasts a shorter time while depression lasts longer.
  4. Adjustment disorder does not require clinical intervention and may resolve after joining support groups while depression needs longer and in-depth management.
  5. Adjustment disorder is characterized by low moods, tearfulness, or hopefulness due to traumatic events while depression is characterized by being sad, empty, irritable feelings accompanied by significant negative cognitive and somatic changes.

Similarities between Adjustment Disorder and Depression

  1. Both may be triggered by stressors.
  2. Both may cause a certain degree of impairment regarding the performance of daily tasks.

Conclusion

Adjustment disorder and depression are both mental disorders that are triggered by stressors. They may cause a certain degree of impairment regarding the performance of daily tasks.

However, the two are different from each other. Adjustment disorder resolves within six weeks while depression may require the services of a professional for it to be resolved.

More Sources and References:

Leave a Comment