Adjustment disorder is an excessive, lengthy reaction to a stressful event or situation. It could be one stressor or a combination of stressors affecting one person or a group of people. This reaction seriously damages social and occupational functioning.

There are several subtypes of the disorder, including adjustment disorder with:

  • Depressed mood
  • Anxiety
  • Mixed anxiety and depressed mood
  • Disturbance of conduct
  • Mixed disturbance of emotions and conduct

Adjustment disorders develop in reaction to stressful life events or major life changes. Some common stressors are:

  • Relationship problems
  • Financial difficulties
  • Family conflict
  • School issues
  • Work changes
  • Major life changes
  • Health problems
  • Divorce
  • Death of loved ones
  • Moving
  • Combat
  • Sexuality issues

In some cases, ongoing problems, such as living in an unsafe, crime-ridden neighborhood, may cause the development of an adjustment disorder over a longer period of time.