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Diagnosis and Assessment

The similarities and differences between anxiety disorder and adjustment disorders. Explain the factors that complicate a diagnosis of anxiety verses an adjustment disorders. How does ethnicity and background affect diagnosis?

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1. The similarities and differences between anxiety disorder and adjustment disorders.

ADJUSTMENT DISORDERS

Adjustment Disorder is the development of clinically significant emotional or behavioral symptoms in response to an identifiable psychosocial stressor or stressors. According to DSM-IV-TR (see http://www.behavenet.com/capsules/disorders/dsm4classification.htm#Anxiety), there are six major adjustment disorders, which are not Axis 1 like anxiety Disorders:

? Adjustment disorder with depressed mood;
? Adjustment disorder with anxiety;
? Adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood;
? Adjustment disorder with disturbance of conduct;
? Adjustment disorder with mixed disturbance of emotions and conduct;
? Adjustment disorder unspecified. (http://www.athealth.com/Consumer/disorders/Adjustment.html).

Adjustment disorders have some common characteristics (but that differ from anxiety disorder, which are more associated with fear-based anxiety that is irrational and come up any time of the day and be triggered by situation and location, where the person is paralyzed with fear, and not knowing what they are afraid of), such as:

1. A person with an adjustment disorder with depressed mood may have mostly a depressed mood, hopeless feelings, and crying spells.
2. A person with an adjustment disorder with anxiety would experience anxious feelings, nervousness, and worry.
3. Someone with an adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood would, obviously, have a mixture of anxious and depressed feelings.
4. An individual with an adjustment disorder with disturbance of conduct may act out inappropriately. This person may act out against society, skip school, or ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the similarities and differences between anxiety disorder and adjustment disorders, as well as explains the factors that complicate a diagnosis of anxiety verses an adjustment disorders according to DSM-IV-TR. Finally, it explores how ethnicity and background affects diagnosis. References are provided.

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