ADJUSTMENT DISORDER TREATMENT
An adjustment disorder can develop in people who experience more stress than normal. While some stress in life can be healthy, stress that disrupts everything from work and school to relationships may indicate a deeper issue. Some symptoms of an adjustment disorder may manifest within a few months of the stressful experience:
- Feeling sad
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Thinking or acting on suicidal thoughts
- Feeling more worried or anxious than normal
- Not wanting to eat
- Experiencing difficulty sleeping
- Staying away from friends and family
Symptoms can be either acute, meaning they last for less than six months and lessen once the stressful cause is gone, or persistent. If your symptoms appear to be chronic and make it difficult to get through the day, it may be time to see a mental health professional.
TYPES OF ADJUSTMENT DISORDERS
Medical professionals may use the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-5 when diagnosing an adjustment disorder. This includes symptoms manifesting within a few months of a specific stressful event, dealing with more stress and issues in everyday life than normal, and that these symptoms are not resulting from another type of mental health disorder.
The DSM-5 adjustment disorders may include:
- Depressed feelings: In addition to feeling sad, it can also be a lack of enjoyment in things that used to excite you or make you happy.
- Anxiety: This manifests as feeling overwhelmed, worried, and nervous more than usual.
- Combination of depressed feelings and anxiety: You may feel anxious and depressed at the same time.
- Behavioral challenges: This may include reckless action, such as driving dangerously, destroying property, and getting into fights.
- Combination of behavioral and emotional challenges: Behavioral challenges can manifest alongside anxiety and depression.
There are also unspecified disorders that fall into their own unique category. These can include disorders with physical symptoms and relationship issues.