Adjustment disorder is a condition that occurs after a stressful life event. If your mind cannot fully process stress, depression, or grief, you may react in an excessive manner that is out-of-character. People who have adjustment disorder are often unaware of their symptoms until friends and family members point out their behaviors. In this guide, we will explain what adjustment disorder is and how you can overcome it through depression treatment.
What Causes Adjustment Disorder?
Adjustment disorder can be brought on by a number of stressful events. What you consider stressful may not be as traumatic for someone else. That is why adjustment disorder may go undiagnosed for some time because it came about from a seemingly manageable situation. Some potential causes of adjustment disorder include:
- Death of a loved one
- A medical diagnosis for yourself or a loved one (cancer, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, etc.)
- Miscarriage or news of infertility
- Financial struggles, such as car repossession or home foreclosure
- Moving to another city
- Divorce or breaking off a long-term relationship
- News of infidelity
- Job loss
There are many other life changes that could cause adjustment disorder. For instance, a teenager may experience adjustment disorder from parental conflicts or sexual identity issues. A mother may experience adjustment disorder when her last child goes to college. Regardless of the circumstances, there are treatments available to help.
Common Symptoms of Adjustment Disorder
The symptoms of adjustment disorder are just as varying as the triggers. They typically involve abnormal behaviors that impact a person’s work and social life. Possible symptoms include:
- Extreme nervousness or social anxiety
- Physical twitches
- Trembling uncontrollably
- Impulsive behavior, such as gambling or excess spending
- Social isolation
- Acting defiant, especially to members of authority (police, supervisor, etc.)
- Rapid or irregular heartbeats
- Feeling sad or hopeless
Note that many of these symptoms align with depression and anxiety. Adjustment disorder most often occurs within three months of a traumatic event, so there is a direct correlation between the behaviors and life change. If you do not have an adjustment disorder but do experience the symptoms above, one of our depression or anxiety counselors in Southeast Michigan can assist you.
How to Treat Adjustment Disorder
The best way to treat adjustment disorder is through individual counseling, such as depression treatment or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). In therapy, you will learn how to adjust to the trauma you’ve experienced and how to overcome stressors in your life. Most patients are able to reduce adjustment disorder symptoms without the need for medication. If you require medication in conjunction with therapy, we have psychiatrists to assist you at our Southeast Michigan depression treatment center.
Treatment durations vary from one person to the next. CBT teaches you how to reverse negative thought patterns – a process that takes time to be fully effective. Whether you need short-term or long-term therapy, the specialists at Oakland Psychological Clinic are here to help. We will guide you through every step of the way so you can enjoy a better quality of life.