Adjustment disorder is a behavioral and emotional disorder that arises due to a person’s inability to adjust to a sudden life stressor or traumatic experience. While it is normal for you to react differently to traumatic events, if you find yourself experiencing an intense and overwhelming reaction in response to any event in life, it is likely that you are experiencing adjustment disorder.
The emotional side of adjustment disorder can have several behavioral indicators such as low self-esteem, sadness, hopelessness, and sometimes self-harming behaviour. A severe form of adjustment disorder occurs within three months of the triggering event and lasts no more than six months. Causative events are generally not as serious and major as the person concerned imagines.
Let’s dive into what adjustment disorder is, its symptoms, and the treatment options available.
What is adjustment disorder?
Stressful life events are part of our daily lives. Problems at work, school or home can be a common occurrence in our daily lives. Now, everyone has different reactions to these events. In fact, most people learn to cope with these triggers and changes over time.
However, if you have an adjustment disorder, your reactions to these stressful events are much more intense than to others and often last for months.
Adjustment disorders can have several emotional and behavioral symptoms. Common symptoms of the disorder include:
- feelings of hopelessness and helplessness,
- social isolation or distancing from friends and family,
- disturbed sleep patterns,
- recurring anxious thoughts,
- physical symptoms of stress, including headache, rapid heartbeat, etc.,
- frequent emotional outbursts and crying,
- act impulsively,
- difficulty managing daily activities,
- excessive anxiety, and
- Body aches are not associated with any kind of disease.
There are no pre-identified causes of adjustment disorder. Any form of stressful life event or change can trigger an adjustment disorder in a person. However, these events and accidents may not affect everyone in the same way. Exposure to these stimuli depends mainly on the person’s personality and life experiences.
Common causes or triggers that can lead to adjustment disorder in adults include:
- the death of a loved one,
- relationship struggles,
- career change,
- job loss, or
- Illness in himself or a close family member.
Adjustment disorders can also affect tweens and teens. Common triggers include:
- poor performance in academics,
- relationship issues,
- A change in friendships or peer groups, or
- Parents divorce.
Read more: Adolescents and issues related to their mental health
Fortunately, with the help of the right professional help, a person with an adjustment disorder can successfully recover from their condition. Common treatment options for adjustment disorders include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy: It focuses on breaking negative thought patterns and establishing a connection between positive thoughts and behaviors.
- Stress management therapy: This type of treatment helps a person deal with symptoms by building resistance.
- Group therapy: In this type of therapy, people with similar issues and needs work together to build workable solutions and support each other.
Read more: Best online therapy platforms.
Adjustment disorder is a form of emotional and behavioral disorder associated with triggering or traumatic life events. The condition can affect both adults and children. With proper professional help, a person can effectively recover from an adjustment disorder. Although there is no proven way to prevent adjustment disorder, working on coping skills and building resilience can help you handle adverse situations better.
Mental and emotional draining can harm your mental health in more ways than one. This is why it is important to work on your mental and emotional health. To learn how to fix your emotional health, click here.
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