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RW665
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02 Nov 2010, 5:39 pm

Two years ago when I went to the army and eventually broke down from not understanding how to handle anything, I was sent to get evaluated.
The result of just one meeting that was about 20 minutes was the lady saying my mood was flat, apparantly my alertness was dull, my behavior was passive and I looked depressed. She asked if I had ever seen a doctor for or had been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, or an austism spectrum disorder. I said no and a few days later I got a paper saying she diagnosed me with adjustment disorder.

On to my point, my mother and I are currently pondering seeing a specialist for AS, because we both agree, looking back at my life, that it fits.
I'll resist the urge to make a list of things. Oh, how I enjoy making lists.

If I do end up seeing someone, should I bring up this diagnosis? Would I be required to mention it?
Does anyone else have experience with this "adjustment disorder"? I had never heard of it until then.



kleodimus
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02 Nov 2010, 5:45 pm

i have no experience with adjustment disorder but it is best to tell them everything you have because it can make their diagnosis more of an educated guess...


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Darkmysticdream
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02 Nov 2010, 6:14 pm

Adjustment disorder is only military speak for "we can't use you because of X, Y, or Z"

It is not an actual diagnosis, its a description that a certain scenario doesn't work for an individual. I'd bring up the fact that you had a psych that brought up the possibility of autism or autistic spectrum issues, but "adjustment disorder" doesn't mean anything in military psych other than a concise title that says "we are letting you go because you don't fit in."



RW665
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02 Nov 2010, 6:47 pm

Darkmysticdream wrote:
Adjustment disorder is only military speak for "we can't use you because of X, Y, or Z"

It is not an actual diagnosis, its a description that a certain scenario doesn't work for an individual. I'd bring up the fact that you had a psych that brought up the possibility of autism or autistic spectrum issues, but "adjustment disorder" doesn't mean anything in military psych other than a concise title that says "we are letting you go because you don't fit in."


That makes sense.



OuterBoroughGirl
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02 Nov 2010, 7:49 pm

Adjustment disorder... yeah, I've heard that one.
Back when I starting my freshman year in college, I had a bunch of people in my dorm go to student life about me to report that my behavior had caused them to be "concerned" about me. I started seeing a therapist at the school's psych services. I quickly learned that I had become almost instantly notorious there. Another therapist there informed me that "everyone" had been expressing their concerns about, "the things you've been doing."
I've always been a very private person, so understandably, this statement caused me some alarm. I asked, "When are people going to stop watching me?!"
To this, she replied, "When your symptoms decrease."
"I didn't know my 'symptoms' were so obvious," I told her.
To that, she simply replied, "Well, they are," and that was the end of that conversation.
Gah, that was eleven years ago, and the memory still makes my insides squirm with discomfort. To this day, I'm still not clear on why everyone was so "concerned" about me. The vague explanations I was given didn't make much sense.
Anyway, the upshot of all this drama was my therapist at school determining that I had an "adjustment disorder." I thought that was the biggest load of crap ever, though I've since learned that's not the only BS diagnosis out there. Seven years ago, I was diagnosed with "Personality Disorder Not Otherwise Specified." :roll:
IMHO, "diagnoses" of that nature roughly translate to, "Something is clearly *wrong* with you, but I can't determine exactly what. I'll make something up to avoid losing face." Throughout my entire life, I've proven quite talented at stumping the professionals. :P
I don't know if you really need to bring up that label, as it means nothing as far as I can tell. It may be useful to discuss your experience with the military, though. I can't speak with any great authority, as I haven't undergone a formal evaluation for AS at this time.
You've gotta love these bogus mental health labels... :roll:


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Last edited by OuterBoroughGirl on 02 Nov 2010, 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Darkmysticdream
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02 Nov 2010, 7:58 pm

I'm an Air Force veteran myself, so I know how the military uses that crap with the Psych, but I'm also AS (Dx'd while in the military, not put in my record due to a nice and competent Psych who understood my concerns for having the Dx follow me). My AS special interest is Psychology and Sociology and I've studied the subjects since I was eight...I can pretty much walk up to a person and figure out what they would be diagnosed with after a few minutes of conversation.

So...yeah don't even get me started on the medicalization of being "different" in psychology (I won't shut up)! ;)



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02 Nov 2010, 9:44 pm

Actually, it is a real diagnosis. It's what they call it when you have stressful events in your life, but don't have the coping skills to deal with them; the presentation is often identical to depression, except there's an obvious outside trigger. Adjustment disorder is often the diagnosis given to people who are grieving and having a hard time getting on the road to living with the loss. (Important distinction: Grief is considered a normal life event, and, just like pregnancy in physical medicine, is not considered an unhealthy state, but simply one to be monitored. Adjustment disorder should only be diagnosed when someone is "stuck" and not making progress, however slow it may be.) In the OP's case, there were major problems adjusting to life in the army--an unusual reason for the adjustment disorder diagnosis, but not completely impossible. However, the possibility of an underlying ASD was something they might have looked into beyond just asking if you had ever been diagnosed: Autistic people often have much more difficulty adjusting to a new situation than non-autistics, and that would have been a significant fact to take into account.


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Darkmysticdream
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02 Nov 2010, 9:54 pm

@Callista You are correct about it being a legitimate diagnosis. However, the military uses this term in a slightly different fashion. Many times they will use it and apply it to anyone that they deem to not be conforming to military standards and is utilized as a very quick and easy way to discharge an individual. I know people who are perfectly fine and really didn't have too much of an issue (except perhaps had issues with people in their chain of command) that were sent to Psych and ended up with this diagnosis and were kicked out of the military.

An adjustment disorder can be a legit diagnosis for certain circumstances, although it is most often diagnosed under different terms like major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety, social anxiety and the like depending on the situation since these terms tend to actually give descriptions of what is happening. Usually the term adjustment disorder is considered for use only when the symptoms have arisen from a specific event or environment that changed where the person becomes imbalanced in some way.

The reason I don't consider it a "real" diagnosis is that it is a vague term. It doesn't really mean anything. It gives no clues to symptoms or issues and is better described by utilizing more specific terminology, particularly when you are considering discussing things with a new psychologist that does not have your previous medical records. If you say "I have an adjustment disorder" it could mean anything from depression to anxiety to ocd or a wide variety of other symptoms or issues. However if you say I was in X situation and I was anxious and violent and twitchy that is actually useful information.



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02 Nov 2010, 10:42 pm

I first heard of it when I was 18 and mom said to Social Security I see my shrink for it. I figured it meant troubles with change and dealing with them.

Then years later I eventually thought it was a bogus label after I looked it up. It just looked like something anyone would go through and deal with and have issues when things happen like getting fired or trying to get a new job, moving, going through a divorce, getting separated, relationship break ups. So now they make it a condition?

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Actually, it is a real diagnosis. It's what they call it when you have stressful events in your life, but don't have the coping skills to deal with them; the presentation is often identical to depression, except there's an obvious outside trigger. Adjustment disorder is often the diagnosis given to people who are grieving and having a hard time getting on the road to living with the loss. (Important distinction: Grief is considered a normal life event, and, just like pregnancy in physical medicine, is not considered an unhealthy state, but simply one to be monitored. Adjustment disorder should only be diagnosed when someone is "stuck" and not making progress, however slow it may be.) In the OP's case, there were major problems adjusting to life in the army--an unusual reason for the adjustment disorder diagnosis, but not completely impossible. However, the possibility of an underlying ASD was something they might have looked into beyond just asking if you had ever been diagnosed: Autistic people often have much more difficulty adjusting to a new situation than non-autistics, and that would have been a significant fact to take into account.


That makes sense. I don't think I have it though.



RW665
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03 Nov 2010, 12:26 am

League_Girl wrote:
Then years later I eventually thought it was a bogus label after I looked it up. It just looked like something anyone would go through and deal with and have issues when things happen like getting fired or trying to get a new job, moving, going through a divorce, getting separated, relationship break ups. So now they make it a condition?


That's what I thought after I read about it.