Le trouble de l’adaptation est considéré comme un trouble secondaire et invisible selon certains cliniciens. La méconnaissance de la symptomatologie, sa proximité avec le syndrome dépressif ou anxieux et le diagnostic d’exclusion évoqué au sein du DSM-IV permettent d’expliquer ce relatif désintérêt de la part des médecins. Cet article vise, d’une part, à rendre compte des spécificités de ce trouble après avoir parcouru la littérature et, d’autre part, à faire apparaître les premières réactions liées à la nouvelle catégorisation proposée par le DSM-5. Un diagnostic de trouble de l’adaptation bien posé permet un traitement (psychothérapie) adapté et une revalidation rapide.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
This paper exposes the complexity and discrete characteristic of the adjustment disorder with reference to its clinical and scientific diagnosis. Even though the disorder occurs in frequent clinical circumstances after important life events, such as mobbing, burn-out, unemployment, divorce or separation, pregnancy denial, surgical operation or cancer, the adjustment disorder is often not considered in the diagnosis since better known disorders with similar symptoms prevail, such as major depression and anxiety disorder. Ten years ago, Bottéro had already noticed that the adjustment disorder diagnosis remained rather uncommon with reference to patients he was working with while Langlois assimilated this disorder with an invisible diagnosis.
In order to maximize the data collection, we used the article review below and challenged their surveys and results: National Center for Biotechnology Information (NBCI – Pubmed) for international articles and Cairn.info for French literature. Moreover, we targeted the following keywords on the search engine and used articles, which had been published from 1 February 1975 to 31 January 2015: “adjustment”, “adjustment disorder” and the French translation “trouble de l’adaptation”.
One hundred and ninety-one articles matched our search criteria. However, after a closer analysis, solely 105 articles were selected as being of interest. Many articles were excluded since they were related to non-psychiatric fields induced by the term “adaptation”. Indeed, the number of corresponding articles found for the adjustment disorder literally pointed-out the lack of existing literature on that topic in comparison to more known disorders such as anxiety disorder (2661 articles) or major depression (5481 articles). This represents up to 50 times more articles in comparison to the number of articles we found on adjustment disorder and up to 20 times more articles for the eating disorder (1994), although the prevalence is not significantly higher than for the adjustment disorder. According to their relevance and their content, we have split the articles into seven subcategories: 1. General description: most scientific articles generally describe the adjustment disorder as being a transition diagnosis, which is ambiguous, marginal and difficult to detect. The findings claim that only a few studies have been conducted on the adjustment disorder despite a high prevalence in the general population and in the clinical field. 2. Classification: the DSM-5 defined the adjustment disorder as a set of different outcomes and syndromes induced by stress after a difficult life event. While the link to other disorders has not been mentioned, the diagnosis of this disorder is no longer excluded or perceived as a secondary diagnosis. The DSM-5 faced criticism from three points of view: the operationalization of the concept of stress, the differential diagnosis and the description. 3. Prevalence: different samples have shown a significantly high prevalence of the adjustment disorder within the population. In addition to the psychiatric pain induced by difficult life events we need to emphasize the fact that 12.5 to 19.4 percent of the patients faced heavy and severe pathologies and depended on clinical care and treatment. 4. Etiology, comorbidity or associated symptomatology: the literature identified the tendency to commit suicide and stressful life events as being two fundamental characteristics of adjustment disorder. The third one is the personality profile. 5. Differential diagnosis: that motivates researchers to focus on the adjustment disorder: the differentiation approach as to the major depression. Indeed, the aetiology, the symptomatology and the treatment differ from the adjustment disorder. 6. Assessment: very recently, Dutch researchers have developed and validated the Diagnostic Interview Adjustment Disorder (DIAD). 7. Treatment: in 2014, no data or meta-analysis recommended drug treatment in addition to therapy. In fact, several authors have demonstrated the ineffectiveness of drug therapy. The literature suggests a psychotherapeutic approach to treat adjustment disorder.
Emotional reactions triggered by life events are responsible for full therapy agendas and for the rush in emergency rooms and hospitals. The reflex when faced with crying, insomnia or suicidal thoughts to give a diagnostic of major depressive disorder s is generally accepted by everyone. The elevated risk to commit suicide and the approved success of remission or healing through treatment (psychotherapy) are two major reasons why several studies promote the importance and the need to identify the adjustment disorder of our patients.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Mots clés : Diagnostic, Traitement, Dépression, Stress, Suicide
Keywords : Diagnosis, Treatment, Depression, Stress, Suicide
Vol 43 - N° 1P. 41-46 - février 2017 Retour au numéro
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