Difference Between Adjustment Disorder and Depression (With Table)

Although it affects a person’s well-being, mental health was not considered to be a factor. For a variety of reasons, these mental health issues go ignored and untreated. Many people are dealing with concerns such as adjustment disorder and depression. They’re both dealing with comparable issues, but they’re not the same.

Adjustment Disorder vs Depression

The main difference between Adjustment Disorder and Depression is that adjustment disorder can indeed be resolved on its own, on the other hand, depression requires specialized care. Loss of employment, for example, is a frequent cause of adjustment disorder. Meanwhile, the reason for depression can be difficult to pinpoint. 

Adjustment disorder has symptoms related to depression, but for an actual diagnosis, 5 signs should be observed during 2 weeks. In terms of healthcare, it is based upon psychotherapy. Although adjustment disorder is comparable to depression, it normally resolves by itself around 6 months. The disorder’s etiology is frequently obvious, including a job loss or a physical problem.

Depression has numerous causes that are difficult to pinpoint. In addition, a sufferer may display a number of signs. Finally, psychotherapy and medication are both used in the treatment of depression.

Depression is a serious condition that is frequently ignored and untreated. It frequently takes a bit longer and can be resolved with medical assistance.

Comparison Table Between Adjustment Disorder and Depression

Parameters of ComparisonAdjustment DisorderDepression
TreatmentAdjustment disorder is a milder and less in-depth version of adjustment disorder.Depression is more intense and lasts for longer periods.
FeaturesA stressor that can be identified and a source of distress.Depressed symptoms are accompanied by somatic and cognitive changes.
DurabilityAdjustment disorder does not endure for further than six months after that.Depression could last for at least two weeks or up to 2 years.
SeverityAdjustment disorder is less severe.Depression is more severe.
CausesLoss of employment, for example, is a common cause of adjustment disorder.Depression can have a variety of causes that are impossible to specify.

What is Adjustment Disorder?

Adjustment disorders are the medical term for stress-related illnesses. In response to a stressor or surprising incident, you experience higher levels of stress than would have been expected, and the stress produces substantial problems in your connections, at your job, or university.

The signs and symptoms of adjustment disorders vary depending on the type of disorder as well as from individual to individual. 

Adjustment disorder symptoms appear 3 months after a stressful period and continue no more than six months just after the incident has ended. Persistent or chronic adjustment disorders, on the other hand, might last longer than six months, particularly if the stressor is constant, such as jobless.

If you struggle to cope or are having problems getting through every day, speak with the doctor. You can receive therapy to help you manage effectively stressful situations and regain your sense of well-being. Consult your kid’s paediatrician if you have any concerns regarding his or her adjustment or behaviour.

How you deal with stress is influenced by your experiences in life. If you’ve had a lot of pressure as a child, for example, your chances of getting an adjustment disorder are higher. Have you ever suffered from any other mental health problems? You’re dealing with a variety of unpleasant living conditions at the same time.

If adjustment difficulties are not addressed, they can progress to much more significant mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders, depression, and substance dependence.

What is Depression?

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a frequent and severe medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and act. It is also, fortunately, curable.

For a diagnosis of depression, signs must endure at 2 weeks and show a difference in your prior level of functioning. Also, medical diseases (e.g., thyroid difficulties, a brain tumour, or vitamin deficiency) can resemble depressive symptoms, so it’s crucial to screen out any underlying medical issues.

Depression can affect anyone at any age, however, it is generally prevalent in late adolescence or early adulthood. Women are more likely than men to experience depression.

Individuals can do a range of items to assist alleviate the signs of depression. Regular physical activity can help most people feel better and boost their attitude. Getting enough good sleep each night, consuming a nutritious diet, and avoiding alcohol (which is a depressant) can all help to alleviate depression symptoms.

Depression, sometimes called a major depressive disorder, is a mental illness that causes you to feel unhappy or uninterested in life regularly.

A cure for depression does not exist. Your signs may fade with time, but your illness will not. You can achieve recovery and live a long, healthy and happy life with proper care and therapy.

Main Differences Between Adjustment Disorder and Depression

  1. Psychotherapy is typically used to treat adjustment disorders, whereas depression is treated with a mix of psychotherapy and pharmaceuticals.
  2. In less than 6 months, adjustment disorder is gone, whereas, in the meantime, depression can last for months
  3. Adjustment disorder shares many of the same symptoms as depression, with the exception that for an accurate diagnosis, five symptoms should be observed within two weeks, whereas depression has many.
  4. Depression requires proper help, whereas adjustment disorder could be treated by itself.
  5. Loss of employment, for example, is a frequent cause of adjustment disorder, whereas the reason for depression can be difficult to pinpoint.


Considering children’s immature cognitive ability and thus weak coping skills, adjustment disorder may be more widespread in youngsters than currently recognised. Even the most extreme cases of depression can be addressed. Treatment will be more beneficial if you begin it as soon as possible. Additionally, the cause of depression is complicated and hard to pinpoint. Furthermore, a person may experience a wide range of symptoms. Lastly, depression is treated with psychotherapy as well as medications.


  1. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.researchgate.net/publication/26322896_Adjustment_Disorder_Epidemiology_diagnosis_and_treatment&ved=2ahUKEwi07OSX_bH2AhV7h1YBHY6UD-MQFnoECBkQAQ&usg=AOvVaw0MDsCdsSrKxopFXlT_Nvkk
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165614799013097