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History of the concept of adjustment disorders 

History of the concept of adjustment disorders
History of the concept of adjustment disorders

Patricia Casey

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date: 01 December 2021

Adjustment disorder (AD) was introduced by ICD-9 in 1978 and by DSM-III in 1980. Until recently it was neglected in research and in clinical practice. It has withstood the early controversies suggesting that it was a manufactured condition to facilitate the reimbursement of clinicians for treating mild conditions which otherwise would not be covered by insurance. Others argue that it medicalized problems of living. More recent controversies concern its status as a subthreshold disorder, disbarring it from being diagnosed when the threshold for other disorders is reached. Its status has been enhanced by its new positioning in DSM-5 in the Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders category, similar to ICD-10. However, ICD-11 is proposing making AD a full-threshold disorder with specific criteria for diagnosis, unlike DSM-5. This radical proposal will put ICD-11 and DSM-5 at variance with each other and will require a reappraisal of the research, to date, on AD.

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