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Abstract

Objective
Adjustment disorders have been greatly revised in the 11th version of the ICD. The definition of adjustment disorders as stress-related disorders is in accordance with many years of research on embitterment and posttraumatic embitterment disorder. The question is how often adjustment disorders are accompanied by embitterment and/or PTED and what the differences are between pure adjustment disorders (A), embittered adjustment disorders (E) and PTED (PTED).
Methods
A total of 186 rehabilitation patients with adjustment disorder symptomatology were classified according to their embitterment symptomatology and examined for differences in terms of sociodemographic data, depressiveness, life stresses, embitterment, wisdom, and general symptomatology.
Results
PTED was found in 8.1% and feelings of embitterment in 35.5% of patients with adjustment disorder. Pure adjustment disorder patients reported lower levels of depression (BDI-II: A:10.13 vs E:19.93; PTED:20.58), adjustment disorder symptomatology (ADNM-8: A:24.7 vs E:32.2; PTED: 32.7), and higher levels of wisdom (MDW-30: A:81.0 vs E:69.4; PTED:72.6). Patients with embittered adjustment disorders and PTED did not differ significantly in terms of impairment.
Conclusions
The data show that adjustment disorder with embitterment and adjustment disorder without embitterment and PTED can and should be distinguished as they come along with different impairment severity and symptomatology profiles. Diagnostic criteria for PTED are rather strict, which helps to avoid overdiagnosis.

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Authors

Michael Linden - Charité University Medicine Berlin, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, Berlin, Germany

Christopher Arnold - Charité University Medicine Berlin, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, Berlin, Germany

Barbara Lieberei - Dr. Ebel Rehabilitation Centre for Psychosomatic Medicine, Potsdam, Germany

Matthias Rose - Charité University Medicine Berlin, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine, Berlin, Germany

Beate Muschalla - Technical University, Department of Clinical Psychology, Braunschweig, Germany

How to Cite
[1]
Linden, M., Arnold, C., Lieberei, B., Rose, M. and Muschalla, B. 2023. Adjustment disorders with and without embitterment. Journal of Psychopathology. 28, 4 (Feb. 2023). DOI:https://doi.org/10.36148/2284-0249-474.
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