Adjustment disorder is a type of mental health disorder that can result from a variety of stressful life events. It is characterized by an inability to cope with change, which leads to difficulty adjusting, feeling overwhelmed, and having emotional or behavioral problems. Let’s take a deeper look into mental disorders and Adjustment Disorders specifically.
What are Mental Disorders?
Mental disorders are psychological and behavioral patterns that can cause significant distress or impairment in one’s life. Mental disorders can have many different causes, from genetics to environmental factors, and often require a combination of treatments for effective management.
An Adjustment Disorder is one such mental disorder that is characterized by the development of emotional or behavioral symptoms in response to an identifiable stressor or a combination of stressors – usually a stressful event or a major life change like a divorce or death in the family.
This stressful life event can trigger the development of symptoms – physical, cognitive, emotional, or behavioral – that are beyond what is considered normal for an individual’s age and developmental level. Symptoms usually occur within three months of the stressor or event.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, adjustment disorders affect an estimated 1% of the general population and can cause symptoms such as depression, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, sleep problems, physical complaints without a medical basis, emotional outbursts, or mood swings.
Adjustment Disorder Symptoms
Discover the impact of adjustment disorder on your body: in addition to emotional and mental symptoms, physical symptoms may also arise. Common symptoms of Adjustment Disorder include depression, anxiety, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and sleep disturbances. These symptoms can be mild or severe and typically last for several weeks or months after the stressor has passed.
People who are particularly vulnerable to developing Adjustment Disorders have a history of difficulty coping with stressful situations, lack of adequate support systems, have experienced multiple stressors at once or in close proximity to each other, and/or have pre-existing mental health issues. Additionally, people who experience significant life changes such as divorce or the loss of a loved one are also more likely to develop an Adjustment Disorder.
Adjustment Disorder and Suicidal Behaviors
It is important to be aware of the risk of suicide with Adjustment Disorder. If you or someone you know has an Adjustment Disorder and is exhibiting suicidal thoughts or behaviors, seek help immediately from a mental health professional.
Adjustment Disorders in Children
Children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to developing an Adjustment Disorder due to their lack of experience in dealing with stressors. Common signs that a child may be experiencing Adjustment Disorder include changes in behavior, difficulty concentrating, and sudden changes in academic performance.
Parents should watch for any signs of distress or behavioral or emotional changes that persist beyond the expected time period for a typical reaction to a stressful event.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
There are six subtypes of adjustment disorder according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – with depressed mood, with anxiety, with mixed anxiety and depressed mood, disturbance of conduct, mixed disturbance of emotions and conduct, and unspecified.
Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood
This type of Adjustment Disorder is characterized by a depressed mood, tearfulness, feelings of hopelessness or pessimism, and an inability to enjoy activities that were previously enjoyed.
Adjustment Disorder with Anxiety
People with this type will experience intense worry and fearfulness when faced with the stressor. Symptoms may include difficulty concentrating, worrying about unrealistic possibilities, and being easily startled.
Adjustment Disorder with Mixed Anxiety and Depressed Mood
This type of Adjustment Disorder is characterized by both depressed mood symptoms as well as anxiety symptoms, such as agitation or restlessness.
Adjustment Disorder with Disturbance of Conduct
People with this type will exhibit disruptive or aggressive behavior due to the stressor, such as verbally lashing out or engaging in risky behaviors.
Adjustment Disorder with Mixed Disturbance of Emotions and Conduct
Adjustment Disorder with Mixed Disturbance of Emotions and Conduct is a type of Adjustment Disorder in which both emotional and behavioral symptoms are present. This type of Adjustment Disorder is typically seen in children or adolescents who display both depressed mood, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and behavioral disturbances such as aggression or defiance.
Adjustment Disorder Unspecified
Adjustment disorder unspecified is a diagnosis given when a person presents with symptoms of an adjustment disorder, but the observable behaviors do not match any of the six subtypes. This can occur when the individual’s symptoms are difficult to categorize or if they present with multiple different symptoms.
Acute Adjustment Disorder
Acute Adjustment Disorder is a brief form of the disorder that lasts no longer than 6 months and typically resolves once the stressor has passed or been successfully addressed. Symptoms of acute adjustment disorder are typically mild and do not usually require treatment.
Chronic Adjustment Disorder
Chronic Adjustment Disorder, on the other hand, may last for more than 6 months or recur in response to multiple stressors. For some people, an adjustment disorder can become chronic if the condition goes untreated. A chronic adjustment disorder is characterized by persistent mental health symptoms that interfere with a person’s ability to function in everyday life. Symptoms of this include difficulty sleeping, severe anxiety or depression, and feelings of hopelessness or guilt.
It is important to remember that an Adjustment Disorder does not necessarily have to be debilitating. With the help of a qualified mental health professional and proper treatment, many people are able to manage their symptoms and lead healthy, happy lives. If you or someone you know is struggling with an Adjustment Disorder, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help. At Mindflow Recovery, we are here to provide expert support and guidance on the path to recovery. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a free consultation. No one should have to suffer in silence.
Adjustment Disorder Diagnosis
Adjustment Disorder is typically diagnosed by a mental health professional through a physical examination, interview, as well as psychological testing. If you or someone that you love is exhibiting signs of Adjustment Disorder, it is important to seek professional help in order to receive the necessary treatment.
Mental health professionals need to consider other diagnoses before determining that an individual has an Adjustment Disorder. For example, Adjustment Disorders can be easily confused with depression, separation anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). By ruling out these diagnoses before making a final diagnosis of Adjustment Disorder, clinicians can ensure that the patient receives the most appropriate treatment.
Treatment for Adjustment Disorders
Treatment for Adjustment Disorders often includes psychotherapy or counseling to help the individual identify and work through any underlying issues that may be contributing to their symptoms, as well as behavioral strategies to cope with stress in a healthy way.
According to the Mental Health Services Administration, the goals of treatment for Adjustment Disorders are:
• A decrease in anxiety and depressive symptoms
• Improved functioning at home, school, or work
• Improved problem-solving and coping skills
• Increased self-esteem and feelings of control over a person’s life
• Improved interpersonal relationships with family and friends
• Improved communication skills
In some cases, medications such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications may also be recommended. For severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary to provide intensive treatment and stabilization. It is important to note that if left untreated, Adjustment Disorders can lead to serious complications such as suicidal thoughts or behaviors, substance abuse, and long-term psychological distress. Therefore it is essential to seek professional help as soon as possible if you or someone you know is exhibiting symptoms of an Adjustment Disorder.
If you or someone you love is struggling with an Adjustment Disorder, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help. At Mindflow Recovery, we are here to provide expert support and guidance on the path to recovery.
Online Counseling and Talk Therapy
At Mindflow Recovery, we understand the importance of seeking professional help in order to treat Adjustment Disorders. That is why our team of experienced psychologists and counselors are here to provide expert support and guidance throughout your journey to recovery. We offer both private online counseling and group therapy for individuals who are struggling with an Adjustment Disorder or an adjustment disorder-like condition. Our services are designed to address the underlying causes of distress, helping individuals process their thoughts and feelings in a safe, supportive environment.
If you would like more information about our clinic practice, online counseling, and talk therapy services for Adjustment Disorders, please don’t hesitate to contact us today at 833-957-2690.
Comprehensive Mental Health Care Services
We believe that everyone deserves access to comprehensive mental health care. That is why our team of experienced psychologists and counselors are here to provide personalized, evidence-based treatment plans tailored to your individual needs. Whether you are looking for short-term counseling or long-term therapy services, our compassionate and caring professionals can help you find the right treatment plan for you.
We also offer a range of additional services such as psychiatric evaluations, case management, and medication management to help ensure that you get the most comprehensive care possible. Contact us today to learn more about our mental health care services.
Mindflow Recovery’s Treatment Areas
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
At Mindflow Recovery, we are committed to helping individuals achieve lasting recovery from Adjustment Disorders and other mental health disorders as well. We understand that the path to recovery can be difficult – but with our support, you can learn the skills needed to manage your symptoms and live a healthier, happier life. Contact us today at 833-957-2690 to learn more about our comprehensive mental health care services. We are here for you every step of the way.