Adjustment Disorder vs Depression: Difference and Comparison

Mental health was not considered 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. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Adjustment Disorder is a short-term condition caused by a specific stressor, whereas Depression is a long-term condition with various causes.
  2. Adjustment Disorder resolves itself once the stressor is removed, while Depression may require ongoing treatment.
  3. The main difference between Adjustment Disorder and Depression is the duration and cause of the condition.

Adjustment Disorder vs Depression

Adjustment disorder can lead to feelings of sadness, worry, hopelessness, and anxiety, as well as changes in appetite and sleep patterns. Depression is a mood disorder caused by genetic, environmental, and psychological factors, with symptoms such as sadness, guilt, worthlessness, and hopelessness.

Adjustment Disorder vs Depression

Adjustment disorder is a disorder similar to depression, yet it recovers within six months on its own. The cause of the disorder is identifiable such as losing a job, having a 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 neglected and left untreated.  It is 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

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 identifiable, such as losing a job.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 psychotherapy. Depression relies on psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy treatment.

What is Adjustment Disorder? 

An adjustment disorder may happen due to a stressful event that includes a couple of symptoms, such as stress, feeling sad or hopeless, etc.

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When a person has difficulty coping with a specific circumstance, 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, finances, family, etc.

As for symptoms, they affect a person’s life and surroundings. Common symptoms 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-behavioural therapy (CBT) that helps in acknowledging negative feelings and thoughts. Then, changing those into healthy actions and ideas with the therapist’s help.

The treatment may also include long-term therapy, family therapy, and 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 quickly, and health improves 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 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. 

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A mental health assessment is also 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-behavioural therapy (CBT) and counselling that helps acknowledge a person’s necessity. And antidepressants are given to the patients. 

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

depression

Main Differences Between Adjustment Disorder and Depression 

Mental health is neglected in our society as it is considered unimportant and unnecessary. However, 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 identifiable, such as losing a job. 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 psychotherapy, while depression has a combination of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy for treatment. 
Difference Between Adjustment Disorder and Depression

References 

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

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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13 thoughts on “Adjustment Disorder vs Depression: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The thorough breakdown of adjustment disorder and depression in this article is helpful for understanding these conditions and their impact on individuals’ lives.

    Reply
  2. This article provides valuable information on the differences between adjustment disorder and depression. It’s a great resource for understanding these mental health issues.

    Reply
  3. Understanding the main differences between adjustment disorder and depression is essential for recognizing the symptoms and providing appropriate care. It’s great to have all this information in one place.

    Reply
  4. I appreciate the clear differentiation between adjustment disorder and depression. It’s important to understand the unique characteristics of each condition in order to provide the appropriate treatment.

    Reply
  5. The section on what is adjustment disorder and what is depression really breaks down the symptoms and causes in a way that’s easy to understand. Mental health is indeed crucial for overall well-being.

    Reply
  6. The comparison between adjustment disorder and depression is quite comprehensive. It’s important to increase awareness about mental health issues like these.

    Reply
  7. The comparison table is a great way to illustrate the differences between adjustment disorder and depression. It provides a comprehensive overview of the key parameters.

    Reply
  8. Very informative article. The comparison between adjustment disorder and depression is quite clear and well-explained.

    Reply
  9. The different treatment approaches for adjustment disorder and depression are well-explained. It’s important to know the options available for managing these conditions.

    Reply
  10. The information provided about mental health conditions like adjustment disorder and depression is very enlightening. This article serves as a valuable resource for understanding these issues.

    Reply
  11. The fact that mental health issues like adjustment disorder and depression are left unrecognized and untreated is alarming. It affects the person’s well-being and surroundings, and it’s important to address these issues.

    Reply
  12. The detailed explanation of symptoms and causes for adjustment disorder and depression is very helpful. It emphasizes the importance of recognizing and addressing mental health issues.

    Reply
  13. This article offers a thorough analysis of adjustment disorder and depression, highlighting the significance of addressing these mental health conditions.

    Reply

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