Adjustment Disorder Decision Tree

14Sep 2021 by

Good Afternoon Class,
Im writing this with the intention of clarifying the Adjustment Disorder Decision Tree assignment. The purpose of this assignment is to help you become more familiar with the DSM-V. This assignment will also help you conceptualize the criteria that must be met for a diagnosis to be appropriate. 
Since this is one of the first assignments out of the DSM-V, you will be focusing on the criteria for Adjustment Disorder and not considering other diagnoses. I mention this because your decision tree will have Yes and No branches at every question. 
Ive included an example of a decision tree below, you can search google for examples of DSM-V decision trees to see other formats but please don’t plagiarize. 
You’ll use the Diagnostic Criteria from the Adjustment Disorder section of your DSM-V, you can find the page number by using the Index and searching for Adjustment Disorder. Sections A – E is the information you’ll use for the “boxes” of your decision tree. The criteria of section A must be met before you assess to see if the criteria of section B is met and so forth.
Be mindful that each letter’s corresponding section can have more than one factor (i.e., section A). Section A is assessing for three factors, 1) an identifiable stressor(s), 2) an emotional or behavioral symptom in response to the stressor(s) and 3) the emotional or behavioral response occurring within three months of the onset of the identified stressor. 
Example with emotional response (A2): 
Jane Doe lost her job (A1) at the end of June 2021 and has lost pleasure and satisfaction in things she use to take pleasure in (A2). Ms. Doe noticed the change during the July 4th cookout and fireworks show that she looks forward to every year. Since then she and her family have reported a lack of motivation to go to the park, attend family events, or watch movies with her children on the weekend (A3). Ms. Doe shares that since she lost her job it’s difficult for her to feel good about anything else.
Example with behavioral response (A2):
Jane Doe lost her job (A1) the end of June 2021 and has been driving recklessly since the termination (A2). Ms. Doe has received 7 speeding tickets and three tickets for running a stop sign since July 2021 (A3). Ms. Doe reports prior to her termination she never received a speeding ticket, parking ticket, moving violation, and has never been in a motor vehicle accident (evidence of newly developed behavior for A3). Ms. Doe reports she isn’t concerned with being cautious because even when she was cautious at work she still lost her job. 
Each of the three criterias from section A would be their own box. A1’s ‘yes’ branch will lead to A2, A2’s ‘yes’ branch will lead to A3, and A3’s yes branch will lead to B1 and so forth. Your ‘no’ branch won’t lead to any additional diagnoses right now. If we were assessing a diagnosis in general and we started with Adjustment Disorder and reached a ‘no,’ then we would consider other conditions that mirror the criteria the client met, and the other factors they’re presenting with; this is something we’ll do later in the course.
For this assignment you are focusing on Adjustment Disorder, you do not have to include the specifiers (i.e., with depressed mood, with anxiety, etc.) but please read about them and consider how they differ from Depressive Disorder, Anxiety Disorder and so forth. Your branches will grow by the ‘yes’ and your gathering the information from the Adjustment Disorder Diagnostic Criteria in your DSM-V. You all can paraphrase in your boxes, try your best to include the keywords in your paraphrases.
This assignment is not about perfection, it’s one technique of helping you become familiar with using the DSM-V and assessment of a diagnosis. As you all prepare to become clinicians this manual will help you better understand the symptoms your clients are experiencing, inform the treatment you facilitate, and communicate with professionals from various disciplines. It’s unlikely any of us will ever remember the criteria for every single diagnosis but it’s important we know how to find and assess for it. 
Lastly, please read everything about Adjustment Disorder in the DSM-V (2 pages total) to include the Diagnostic Criteria, Diagnostic Features, Prevalence, Development and Course, Risk and Prognostic Factors, Culture-Related Diagnostic Issues, Functional Consequences of Adjustment Disorders, Differential Diagnosis (part of this week’s module), and Comorbidity.
I also want to acknowledge the students who emailed and requested support before today. It’s been a pleasure speaking to you all and I applaud you for requesting clarification.
Have a Wonderful Weekend, 
Professor Wheelock

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