Life is always changing and it is natural for use to go through an adjustment period following any kind of stressful event. People who are experiencing a significant change in their work, personal life, or education will need time to make the adjustment in a healthy way that works for them. However, if a person is not able to cope with a situation, the problem will start interfering with other areas of their life, causing increased stress, a feeling of hopelessness, and/or illness when the adjustment disorder takes place.
It is important to make the distinction between the normal coping process and an adjustment disorder, which only happens if the reaction to something is more than what would be expected for that particular event. No abnormal situation is easy to cope with, but it is especially difficult for someone to cope with symptoms that make it practically impossible.
For those who are struggling with an adjustment disorder, there is good news about the condition’s treatment options. Recognizing the underlying cause of a disorder often helps when finding a solution that will work. Adjustment disorders usually improve with the right kind of treatment, and it will become possible to move past whatever stress was causing the downward spiral initially.
When determining exactly what is causing an adjustment disorder, a medical professional will take several characteristics of a situation into account. Once they locate a trigger for the stress, it becomes much easier to treat it effectively. There are many reasons for someone to experience an adjustment disorder and here are the commonly known stressors for any person of any age:
Young adults and teenagers can also experience adjustment disorders from these triggers:
Varying conditions will contribute to an adjustment disorder, and there is no way to know in advance who will start developing one from a given situation. However, a few factors to consider are how a person was taught to handle stress or social skills leading up to an event.
Any of the following symptoms associated with adjustment disorders might become more severe over time and will eventually interfere with professional or social activities. People who are familiar with a person or know their individual personality traits are often best qualified to recognize these symptoms quickly.
In order to officially be diagnosed with an adjustment disorder, these four criteria have to be met and then reported to a health professional:
An adjustment disorder might also bring about symptoms that are severe enough to instigate thoughts of suicide or a suicidal attempt, so it is vital for anyone who experiences the symptoms to seek help from a qualified specialist right away.
Research shows that adjustment disorders are equally prevalent in both males and females, but adult women are diagnosed twice as much as men, which could be for any number of reasons. Women might be more inclined to look for answers, consult with a physician or seek help, and that could explain the increased number of diagnoses they receive.
Hospitalization plays a role in the percentages of adjustment disorder as well. Studies reveal anywhere from 2 to 8 percent of adults or children have reported an adjustment disorder, but in those who are hospitalized, that number goes up to 12 percent respectively.
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A comprehensive approach works quite well when treating an adjustment disorder because the condition has numerous variables that often need to be addressed simultaneously in a healthy setting. One of the most popular forms of treatment is talk therapy, where a therapist will discuss the effects of the disorder, help the patient identify it, and finally change the way the patient reacts to the stressors causing it. Prescription medication is only used in conjunction with talk therapy and for relieving anxiety or nervousness, a lack of sleep or insomnia, or depression that has reached a very serious level.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is also utilized as an adjustment disorder treatment and a patient’s therapy will guide them to realize the negative thoughts and feelings that are happening. Establishing the source of the negativity is the first part of the therapy, and then followed by learning how to replace it with positive thoughts and responses. Generally, treatment can last for up to a half a year or more, and in some cases, it is necessary to have an expansion of therapy to include family members and self-help groups that will encourage a patient’s recovery in a more effective way.
Adjustment disorders might require supplementary options for treatment, especially if the patient also faces an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. At Foundations Recovery Network, we are uniquely qualified to provide the care and exclusive treatment programs that give patients hope as they return to a balanced life. Recovery starts when people reach out, so if you or someone you know has an adjustment disorder, eating problems or drug abuse symptoms, now is the time to contact us.