Difference Between Adjustment Disorder and Depression (With Table)

Mental health was not considered as a part of well-being, although it affects a person’s well-being. Due to several circumstances, these mental health issues are left unrecognized and untreated. And sometimes, it is ignored, thus resulting in influencing one’s surroundings and health. Adjustment disorder and depression are some of the issues faced by some people. Additionally, they share the same symptoms but are very different from each other. 

Adjustment Disorder vs Depression

The main difference between Adjustment Disorder and Depression is that adjustment disorder resolves under six months. Meanwhile, depression can persist for years. Secondly, adjustment disorder can be solved on its own, while depression needs professional treatment. Thirdly, the cause of adjustment disorder is usually identifiable such as losing a job, etc. Meanwhile, the cause of depression can be complicated and unidentifiable. Fourthly, adjustment disorder has similar symptoms to depression, although five symptoms must be experienced within two weeks for an official diagnosis, while depression has several symptoms. Lastly, the treatment of adjustment disorder is usually psychotherapy. Meanwhile, depression has a combination of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy for treatment.

Adjustment disorder is a disorder similar to depression, yet it usually recovers within six months on its own. The cause of the disorder is usually identifiable such as losing a job, medical condition, etc. Moreover, adjustment disorder has similar symptoms to depression, although five symptoms must be experienced within two weeks for an official diagnosis. And as for the treatment, it relies on psychotherapy. 

Depression is a severe illness that is often neglected and left untreated.  It is usually prolonged and can be solved by medical help. Moreover, the cause of depression is very complicated and unidentifiable. And several symptoms can be observed in a patient.  Lastly, the treatment of depression includes psychotherapy as well as pharmacotherapy. 

Comparison Table Between Adjustment Disorder and Depression

Parameters of comparisonAdjustment Disorder Depression
Duration Adjustment disorder resolves under 6 months.Depression can be prolonged.
ResolveAdjustment disorder can be resolved on its own.Depression needs professional treatment.
CauseThe cause of adjustment disorder is usually identifiable such as losing a job, etc.The cause of depression can be complicated and unidentifiable. 
SymptomAdjustment disorder has similar symptoms to depression, although five symptoms must be experienced within two weeks for an official diagnosis.Depression has several symptoms.
Treatment Treatment of adjustment disorder is usually psychotherapy. Depression relies on psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy treatment.

What is Adjustment Disorder? 

Adjustment disorder is a disorder that may happen due to a stressful event that includes a couple of symptoms such as stress, feeling sad or hopeless, etc. When a person has a hard time coping with a specific circumstance, then it may result in adjustment disorder as it is a coping mechanism. 

Moreover, the cause can be different for different people. However, the problem is identifiable such as divorce, relationship problems, financial issues, family problems, etc. 

As for symptoms, they often affect a person’s life and surrounding. The common symptoms faced are impulsive behavior, tension, trembling, twitching, crying, sadness, etc. Although, five symptoms must be experienced within two weeks for an official diagnosis. Besides, suicidal thoughts may include severe cases. 

Additionally, the mental health assessment is taken into consideration to get detailed information about behavior and symptoms to confirm the diagnosis. 

Furthermore, the goal of treatment is to relieve the symptom and return to a healthy functioning level. Usually, the treatment relies on psychotherapy rather than pharmacotherapy. The therapy includes cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) that helps in acknowledging negative feelings and thoughts. Then, changing those into healthy actions and ideas with the help of the therapist

The treatment may also include long-term therapy, family therapy, self-help groups depending on the need of the person. However, medicines may accompany psychotherapy due to persistent symptoms. 

A suitable diagnosis and help can help the person fastly, and health gets better quickly. 

What is Depression? 

Depression is a mood disorder that may happen due to a stressful event, trauma, abuse, or other major life events. When a person has a hard time coping with a specific circumstance. Then, it may result in an episode of depression, and sometimes it persists for a long time.

Moreover, the cause can be different for different people. However, the problem is unidentifiable such as divorce, relationship problems, financial issues, family problems, physical or emotional abuse, trauma, major life events, etc. 

As for symptoms, they often affect a person’s health and life. The common symptoms faced are depressed mood, reduced interest, change in appetite, weight loss or gain, fatigue, worthlessness, guilt, etc. Besides, all these symptoms, suicidal thoughts, and even an attempt at suicide in severe cases. 

Additionally, the mental health assessment is taken to get detailed information about behavior and symptoms to confirm the diagnosis. 

Furthermore, the goal of treatment is to relieve the symptom and return to a healthy functioning level. Usually, the treatment relies on a combination of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy. The therapy combines cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and counseling that helps in acknowledging the necessity of a person. And antidepressants are given to the patients. 

The treatment may also include antidepressants, SSRIs, MAOIs, and SNRIs with counseling and CBT depending on the requirement of the person. However, medicines are taken till the symptoms improve. 

Main Differences Between Adjustment Disorder and Depression 

Mental health is often neglected in our society as it is considered unimportant and unnecessary. Although, mental health affects our health, daily life, and surroundings. Some of the severe and common illnesses are adjustment disorder and depression. Both seem very similar, yet very different from each other. However, symptoms are similar to an extent in both.  

  1. Adjustment disorder resolves in under six months. Meanwhile, depression can be prolonged for some months. 
  2. Adjustment disorder can be resolved on its own, while depression needs professional treatment.
  3. The cause of adjustment disorder is usually identifiable such as losing a job, etc. Meanwhile, the cause of depression can be complicated and unidentifiable. 
  4. Adjustment disorder has similar symptoms to depression, although five symptoms must be experienced within two weeks for an official diagnosis, while depression has several symptoms. 
  5. The treatment of adjustment disorder is usually psychotherapy, while depression has a combination of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy for treatment. 

Conclusion 

In our society, mental health is frequently overlooked since it is seen as trivial and useless. Mental health, on the other hand, has an impact on our health, everyday lives, and surroundings. Adjustment disorder and depression are two significant and frequent disorders. Both appear to be extremely similar, however, they are different. However, both have symptoms that are comparable to some extent.

Adjustment disorder is a disorder that is comparable to depression, however, it normally goes away on its own within 6 months. The source of the problem is typically obvious, such as a job loss, a medical ailment, and so on. Furthermore, adjustment disorder contains symptoms that are comparable to depression, yet a formal diagnosis requires five symptoms to be encountered within two weeks. In terms of treatment, it is based on psychotherapy.

Depression is a severe condition that is frequently ignored and mistreated. It frequently lasts for a long time and can be treated with medical assistance. Furthermore, the reason for depression is extremely complex and difficult to pinpoint. In addition, a patient may have a variety of symptoms. Finally, psychotherapy, as well as medicines, are used to treat depression.

References 

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165032706000401
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/016383439090074M
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