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Adjustment disorders: Fault line in the psychiatric glossary

  • Patricia Casey (a1), Christopher Dowrick (a1) and Greg Wilkinson (a1)
Extract

Adjustment disorder entered the DSM–II nomenclature in 1968 and was recognized in ICD–9 in 1978. Before then the term ‘transient situational disturbance’ was applied to such conditions. The addition of adjustment disorder to the ICD classification was in response to the confusion generated by the older concepts of reactive and endogenous depression. Both DSM–IV (American Psychiatric Association, 1994) and ICD–10 (World Health Organization, 1992) retain the category of adjustment disorder, which has utility as a clinical concept. However, it has been eclipsed by the focus on mood disorder among research and policy-makers. A consequence of this is the danger of exaggerating the need for expensive and sometimes unpredictable mental health interventions in those whose problems are likely to resolve spontaneously.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Patricia Casey, University College Dublin Department of Psychiatry, Mater Hospital, Eccles Street, Dublin 7, Ireland
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Declaration of Interest

G. W. is Editor of the British Journal of Psychiatry, but took no part in the peer review of this paper and was kept blind to both the reviewers and the identity of the Editorial Board member in charge of the process.

Footnotes
References
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Adjustment disorders: Fault line in the psychiatric glossary

  • Patricia Casey (a1), Christopher Dowrick (a1) and Greg Wilkinson (a1)
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