Can adjustment disorder lead to major depression?

Can adjustment disorder lead to major depression? Adjustment disorder is a phrase used to describe persons who are having severe coping problems as a result of a big life transition that is stressful. 


Losing a job or relocating to a new place are two typical sources of stress in one’s life.


While the symptoms of adjustment disorder are transitory and generally recover without medical intervention over time, they might mirror those of other mental disorders such as severe depression. 


And While people with adjustment disorder may be sad, they may not be depressed enough to be classified as having a severe depressive episode. 


While the symptoms of the two diseases are similar, their causes are completely different.


Can adjustment disorder lead to major depression?

When a person is confronted with an unexpected or significant life event, adjustment problems might emerge. Humans, thankfully, are naturally robust. Despite substantial life upheavals, most people can live well with time and the right assistance.


People with adjustment disorders, on the other hand, may believe they are not managing as well as they should. They may complain of a lack of sleep or a high level of worry. Adjustment disorder with low mood arises when the primary life disruption is mood-related, and people affected are overburdened by emotions of melancholy or guilt.


Adjustment Disorder vs. Major Depression: What’s the Difference?

Although the two diseases have similar symptoms on the surface, there are several significant distinctions between adjustment disorder and severe depression. 


The length and cause are the two most important distinguishing variables. While adjustment disorder usually goes away after six months, severe depressive disorder lasts considerably longer and requires professional help to overcome.


An identified life change, such as a move, a career shift, or a divorce, might precipitate adjustment disorder. As a result, adjustment disorder is sometimes known as “situational depression.”


“Major depression is caused by a combination of environmental, genetic, and psychological variables and cannot be traced back to a single event or occurrence.



While adjustment disorder nearly usually has an identifiable cause, such as losing your job or dealing with an unexpected medical situation, severe depression does not.


Major depression has more intricate and poorly understood causes. What we do know is that each and every human being is remarkable in their own right.


Each of us has an own “brainprint,” a collective neural foundation that makes us startlingly unique, like a fingerprint. This person, on the other hand, restricts our ability to establish a single reason for sadness.


Each of us has different levels of resilience and vulnerability to the effects of depression. The possible development of depression is influenced by a person’s biology, psychology, social environment, and genetic predispositions.


While there has been significant progress in our knowledge of depression as a whole, there is still much to learn about this difficult condition.


Symptoms Lasting Time

Adjustment disorder symptoms usually go away after six months. A major depressive episode, on the other hand, might last as little as two weeks but can potentially lead to long-term major depressive disorder. 


The signs and symptoms of severe depression are more subtle. The condition manifests with symptoms that are similar to those of a severe depressive episode, but over a prolonged period of time.


Treatment Methods That Are Similar

Cognitive behavioural therapy, a kind of psychotherapy, has proven to be the most effective treatment for adjustment disorder (CBT). 


CBT can be used on an individual basis or in a group setting. Benzodiazepines, a kind of calming drug, may be used to address specific anxiety-provoking circumstances.


Major depression is a major clinical illness that has a significant impact on individuals who suffer from it. 


As a result, it is treated in a multi-pronged manner, with lifestyle, biological, and psychological variables all factored into the treatment strategy for adjustment disorder. 


Psychotherapy is frequently coupled with medication. To optimise effectiveness and reduce adverse effects, a qualified physician chooses specific antidepressant medicines based on the particular patient.


Read also: What Is an Adjustment Disorder?

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