Stress (clinically referred to as Adjustment Disorder) is a very broad condition identified fundamentally by marked distress in response to an identifiable stressor within 3 months of initially being exposed to that stressor. Within the context of a relationship, the stressor would be the relationship issue itself, and not the partner or relationship. Stress, as a clinical condition, exists only if the below criteria have been met.
Clinical Diagnostic Criteria
The development of emotional or behavioral symptoms in response to an identifiable stressor(s) occurring within 3 months of the onset of the stressor(s).
These symptoms or behaviors are clinically significant, as evidenced by one or both of the following:
- Marked distress that is out of proportion to the severity or intensity of the stressor, taking into account the external context and the cultural factors that might influence symptom severity and presentation.
- Significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning
The symptoms do not represent normal bereavement.
Once the stressor or its consequences have terminated, the symptoms do not persist for more than an additional 6 months.