Have you been feeling anxious for no apparent reason? You may be experiencing adjustment disorder with anxiety. This condition is a reaction to a stressful event or change in your life, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, moving homes, job loss or other major life changes.
If you think you may be suffering from adjustment disorder with anxiety, read on for more information about the condition and possible treatments.
What Is Adjustment Disorder?
Adjustment disorder is a term used to describe a person’s reaction to stressful events or changes. Adjustment disorders can be either short-term or long-term and cause feelings of significant distress, difficulty functioning, and/or symptoms such as depression or anxiety.
Types of Adjustment Disorder
Adjustment disorder can present itself in different forms, depending on the individual.
Some types of adjustment disorders include:
• Adjustment disorder with Anxiety
• Adjustment disorder with depressed mood
• Adjustment disorder with combined Anxiety and depressed mood
• Adjustment disorder with disturbance of conduct
• Adjustment disorder with mixed disturbance of emotions and conduct
• Adjustment disorder unspecified
Adjustment Disorder With Anxiety
This type of adjustment disorder involves strong feelings of anxiety and fear that last longer than six months. People with this disorder may experience physical symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, restlessness, or frequent trips to the doctor.
Adjustment Disorder With Depressed Mood
This type of adjustment disorder involves a low mood and feelings of sadness, lasting longer than six months. People with this disorder may experience changes in appetite, energy levels, concentration difficulties, or suicidal thoughts.
Adjustment Disorder With Combined Anxiety and Depressed Mood
This type of adjustment disorder involves both strong feelings of anxiety and a low mood. People with this type of adjustment disorder may experience physical symptoms such as trouble sleeping, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, or changes in appetite.
Adjustment Disorder with Disturbance of Conduct
This type of adjustment disorder involves aggressive behavior and/or acts that are out of the ordinary for the individual. People with this type of adjustment disorder may act out in anger or have difficulty following rules or instructions.
Adjustment Disorder with Mixed Disturbance of Emotions and Conduct
This type of adjustment disorder involves both strong feelings of anxiety and/or a low mood, as well as aggressive behavior or other disruptive behaviors. People with this type of adjustment disorder may experience physical symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, or changes in appetite.
Adjustment Disorder Unspecified
This type of adjustment disorder is marked by significant distress that doesn’t fit into any of the other categories. People with this type of adjustment disorder may experience physical symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, restlessness, or changes in appetite.
Causes of Adjustment Disorder
Adjustment disorder can be caused by a variety of life events including death, divorce, serious illness, job loss or changes, financial stressors and moving. The most common cause is the combination of multiple stressful events at once.
Who is Affected By Adjustment Disorder?
Adjustment disorder can affect anyone at any age, but it is most common among adolescents and young adults. Women are more likely to be affected by adjustment disorder than men. People who have preexisting psychological issues, such as depression and anxiety, or those with a family history of mental health problems may be at higher risk for developing adjustment disorder.
How Are Adjustment Disorders Diagnosed?
In order for the diagnosis of adjustment disorder to be given, the symptoms must have started within three months of the life event or change and must be severe enough to affect a person’s social, occupational, or academic functioning.
Emotional or Behavioral Symptoms of Adjustment Disorder
The emotional and behavioral symptoms of adjustment disorder can include:
• Sadness or low mood
• Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, guilt, or worthlessness
• Anxiety, fear, irritability, or anger
• Withdrawal from activities typically enjoyed
• Difficulty concentrating and sleeping
• Poor academic or work performance
• Substance use
• Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
Adjustment disorder is a condition that can cause emotional and behavioral changes in response to a stressful life event or change. It is important to seek help when symptoms become severe enough to affect your daily functioning. Treatment may involve medication, psychotherapy, and lifestyle changes such as reducing stress and participating in activities that you enjoy. With the right support, it is possible to manage the symptoms of adjustment disorder and live a fulfilling life.
Treatment for Adjustment Disorder With Anxiety
The primary goal when treating adjustment disorder with anxiety is to reduce the symptoms so that the person can return to their life prior to the event or change. Treatments may include medication, psychotherapy, and lifestyle changes such as stress management techniques.
Medications used in the treatment of adjustment disorder with anxiety may include antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and mood stabilizers. Talk therapy (psychotherapy) is also an important treatment for adjustment disorder and may include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), or interpersonal therapy.
In addition to medication and psychotherapy, lifestyle changes like relaxation techniques, yoga, exercise, and mindfulness can also be helpful in managing anxiety symptoms. It is important to a balance between structure, relaxation, and leisure activities.
What is Anxiety Disorder?
Anxiety is one common symptom of adjustment disorder. Anxiety will vary in type and intensity depending on the life event and can range from generalized anxiety to panic attacks. It is important to seek help if anxiety becomes overwhelming or affects daily functioning.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders are classified into several different types, including:
• Panic disorder
• Social anxiety disorder
• Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
• Separation anxiety disorder
Panic disorder is characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness, nausea, sweating, trembling, or a racing heart. These attacks can lead to avoidance behaviors which can cause significant distress in a person’s life.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder involves an intense fear of being judged or embarrassed in social situations and can lead to avoidance behaviors. Symptoms include feeling self-conscious, worry about embarrassing oneself, and difficulty making eye contact with others.
Agoraphobia is an intense fear of certain places or and can lead to avoidance behaviors. Symptoms include feeling, helpless, or embarrassed in crowded environments.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
People with generalized anxiety disorder experience a persistent and excessive worry about everyday life events. Common symptoms include restlessness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, muscle tension, and sleep disturbances.
Separation Anxiety Disorder
Separation anxiety disorder is characterized by intense fear or distress when separation from home or loved ones occurs. Symptoms may include worries about harm befalling a loved one, nightmares about being separated, or excessive worry about losing the person.
If you’re experiencing anxiety as a result of an adjustment disorder, it’s important to talk with your doctor or a mental health professional about the best treatment plan for you.
Causes of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders often have a combination of causes, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and environmental stressors. It is important to understand the specific cause of your anxiety in order to develop an effective treatment plan.
Environmental triggers of anxiety can include traumatic events, a major life change, or stressful situations. Other factors that may contribute to anxiety disorders include a family history of mental illness, particular personality traits and thinking patterns, certain medical conditions or medications, and substance abuse.
Who is Affected By Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety disorders can affect anyone at any age, but are most common among adolescents and young adults. Women are more likely to be affected than men. Certain groups such as refugees or individuals who have experienced a traumatic event may be at an increased risk for an anxiety disorder. Therefore, it is important to talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you if you are experiencing anxiety symptoms.
How Are Anxiety Disorders Diagnosed?
Anxiety disorders are typically diagnosed by a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist. A diagnosis is based on the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) from the American Psychiatric Association. The doctor may also perform tests to rule out physical causes of anxiety, such as heart disease or thyroid problems.
Physical or Emotional Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder
Behavioral or emotional symptoms of anxiety disorder include:
• Difficulty concentrating
• Restlessness or hypervigilance
• Irritability and impatience
• Sleep disturbances (including insomnia)
• Feelings of dread and fear
• Avoidance of certain situations or activities due to fear
• Physical discomfort such as tension headaches or muscle aches
• Panic attacks
Treatment of Anxiety Disorders
The most common treatments for anxiety disorders are medication and psychotherapy. Medication can include antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, or both.
Psychotherapy includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), supportive psychotherapy, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), interpersonal process therapy (IPT), and other approaches.
In addition to conventional treatment, complementary therapies such as relaxation techniques, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and practicing having a positive attitude can help reduce anxiety symptoms. It is important to find a combination of treatments that works best for you or your loved one in order to manage anxiety effectively.
If you are having difficulty managing anxiety, it is important to talk with your doctor or a mental health professional like those at Mindflow Recovery. With proper treatment and care, you can regain control of your life and reduce the symptoms of anxiety.
Find Relief With Mindflow Recovery
It’s possible to feel better after being diagnosed with adjustment disorder with anxiety but it is important that the person seeks treatment from a mental health professional. If the symptoms of anxiety become overwhelming or start to interfere with daily functioning, it is important to seek help right away.
Treatment can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety and help a person return to their daily life. Mindflow Recovery offers online therapy that can be tailored to meet your individual needs. From cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to mindfulness techniques and helpful coping skills, we offer support groups and online treatment options that can help you manage your adjustment disorder and anxiety so that you can live a more meaningful life. Contact us today for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can Mindflow Recovery help with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Yes, Mindflow Recovery offers online therapy and support groups to help individuals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) manage their symptoms. Our experienced team of mental health professionals can create a personalized treatment plan that is tailored to your individual needs. We also offer online resources such as blogs and other helpful information related to PTSD.
What does “mixed anxiety” mean?
Mixed anxiety is a term used to describe an anxiety disorder that has both physical and psychological symptoms. It may include physical symptoms like headaches, tension, muscle aches, difficulty sleeping, and heart palpitations as well as psychological symptoms such as fear, restlessness, irritability, and irrational thoughts.
Does Mindflow Recovery offer family therapy?
Yes, we have experienced therapists who specialize in family therapy. Our family therapy sessions are designed to help every family member work together to better understand one another and offer emotional support during difficult times or stressful events.