Adjustment disorders are reactive and usually short-lasting states associated with life situations. They manifest as anxiety, depression or behavioural symptoms and appear after a major change in life or a psychologically straining experience. The diagnosis of adjustment disorder is made by excluding other disorders. The presence of a stressor does not automatically mean that the patient has adjustment disorder. Stressors may also trigger several other psychological disorders, particularly states of depression . Although adjustment disorders are mostly mild and transient they should not be underestimated. An adjustment disorder may develop into a more severe disorder, and particularly in the young it may be associated with self-destructive behaviour.