Adjustment Disorders


Adjustment Disorder

Sometimes it can feel unsettling and lonely to be in a period of adjustment after a large, or even small, life change. If you are affected more that you think you ought to be by a life event, Creative Living Center can help you understand the feelings, thoughts, and reaction you are having. 


Symptoms to look for:(Stressors vary by intensity,frequency and duration)
  • Depressed mood
  • Impaired occupational and/ or social functioning
  • Agitation & possible behavioral affects such as absenteeism, vandalism, reckless driving, fighting
  • Trembling or twitching
  • Physical complaints  such as aches and pains, stomachache, headache and chest pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Withdrawal
  • Anxiety, worry, stress and tension
Causes of Adjustment Disorder:
  • Adults – Marital discord, finances, work etc
  • Adolescents – School problems, family or parents' marital problems, sexuality issues etc
  • Children – Family changes; developmental changes etc
  • General  Death of a loved one, life changes, unexpected catastrophes, major medical conditions, cancer and cancer treatments etc
Affects of Adjustment Disorder:
  • Higher risk of  suicide and suicidal behavior
  • Higher risk of substance abuse
  • Higher risk of prolonging of other medical disorders or interference with their treatment
  • Adjustment disorder that persists may progress to become a more serious mental disorder (major depressive disorder).
  • Changes in behavior for children can be disruptive or aggressive


Treatment Goals

Therapy for Adjustment Disorder often revolves around both the individuals coping and problems solving skills as well as exploring and developing their social supports. Relaxation techniques are often also used. It is important that the individual understand his or her reaction to a specific life event. Creative Living Center recommends seeking professional advice for Adjustment Disorder so that treatments can be tailored to the individual. 

Time span of Adjustment Disorder

Adjustment disorder is held to start within three months on the onset of an identifiable stressor and last no longer than six months after the stressors are gone. 

After Adjustment Disorder

Most people recover without any remaining symptoms if they have no previous mental illness history and have access to stable social support. Individuals suffering from adjustment disorders should seek to develop and maintain a healthy diet and sleep routine, and are encouraged to spend time with family & friends to build social support.