Adjustment disorders are stress-related conditions that can produce symptoms like sadness, sleep problems and suicidal thoughts. While not as prevalent as other mental health disorders, people of all backgrounds can experience an adjustment disorder.

According to the Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide, between 3 percent and 10 percent of primary care patients deal with an adjustment disorder. However, general practitioners frequently fail to identify the disorder in patients.

Johns Hopkins also stated that between 5 and 20 percent of patients in an outpatient mental health setting experience an adjustment disorder. In a psychiatric setting, nearly 50 percent of patients grapple with the condition.

A 2013 study published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine indicated that between 11 percent and 18 percent of people with any clinical psychiatric disorder have an adjustment disorder.

The study also referred to past research about the prevalence of adjustment disorders:

  • A 1995 study found that about 7.1 percent of adults and nearly 35 percent of teens had adjustment disorders at the time of admission into a psychiatric emergency hospital
  • A Belgian study indicated that 17.1 percent of patients in psychiatric emergency settings had an adjustment disorder. This study also found that nearly 1 in 10 patients admitted into a public psychiatric inpatient hospital dealt with an adjustment disorder, making it the third most common psychiatric illness among patients in this setting
  • A multisite study of psychiatric hospitals in Australia, Canada and the United States showed that about 12 percent of consultations involved a diagnosis of an adjustment disorder

Adjustment disorders are particularly common among children and adolescents. Children with the disorder tend to exhibit behavioral problems, like acting out, rather than emotional issues, like depressed mood. These disorders are equally prevalent among men and women.

Because adjustment disorders are common mental health conditions, many rehab centers across the United States treat them. Contact The Recovery Village to learn how professional treatment can help people with adjustment disorders that co-occur with addiction learn ways to cope with these health conditions.

Lal, Rachna, and Dean F Mackinnon. “Adjustment Disorder.” Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide, October 29, 2017. Accessed February 29, 2019.

Patra, Bichitra N. and Sarkar, Siddharth. “Adjustment Disorder: Current Diagnostic Status.” Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, March 2013. Accessed February 29, 2019.