If you have symptoms of an adjustment disorder, you should talk to your doctor. Your doctor may suggest doing a few lab tests to make sure your symptoms are not caused by something else, like a head injury or physical illness. This may involve blood tests or a CT scan.
If your doctor suspects you are experiencing an adjustment disorder, they will refer you to a licensed mental health expert, like a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist will do an evaluation, which usually involves talking to you about your symptoms and your experiences.
Your child’s diagnosis
If your child is experiencing symptoms of an adjustment disorder, they will need to take to a psychiatrist who specializes in working with children or adolescents. This psychiatrist will talk with your child about their symptoms and experience. They may also talk with you and your partner to get a fuller picture.
Criteria for diagnosis
The DSM-5 is a manual used by healthcare professionals to diagnose mental health conditions. According to the DSM-5, diagnostic criteria for adjustment disorders include:
- Symptoms develop within 3 months of an identifiable stressor, or a specific life event like a major move.
- Symptoms cannot be explained by another underlying health condition or by grief.
- The response is out of proportion to the severity of the stressor.
- The response causes problems with daily life, like school, work, and socializing.
Based on this evaluation, the psychiatrist can diagnose you and work with you on a treatment plan.