Adjustment disorder is a group of symptoms, such as stress, feeling sad or hopeless, and physical symptoms can occur after you go through a stressful event.
Many different events may trigger symptoms of an adjustment disorder. Whatever the trigger is, the event may become too much for you.
The symptoms occur because you are having a hard time coping. Your reaction is stronger than expected for the type of event that occurred.
Stressors for people of any age include:
- Death of a loved one
- Divorce or problems with a relationship
- General life changes
- Illness or other health issues in yourself or a loved one
- Moving to a different home or a different city
- Unexpected catastrophes
- Worries about money
Triggers of stress in teenagers and young adults may include:
- Family problems or conflict
- School problems
- Sexuality issues
There is no way to predict which people who are affected by the same stress are likely to develop adjustment disorder. Your social skills before the event and how you have learned to deal with stress in the past may play roles.
Symptoms of adjustment disorder are often severe enough to affect work or social life. Symptoms include:
- Acting defiant or showing impulsive behavior
- Acting nervous or tense
- Crying, feeling sad or hopeless, and possibly withdrawing from other people
- Skipped heartbeats and other physical complaints
- Trembling or twitching
To have adjustment disorder, you must have the following:
- The symptoms clearly come after a stressor, most often within 3 months
- The symptoms are more severe than would be expected
- There do not appear to be other disorders involved
- The symptoms are not part of normal grieving for the death of a loved one
Sometimes, symptoms can be severe and the person may have thoughts of suicide or make a suicide attempt.
We offer both in-person and online counselling
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