February 7, 2011

Symptoms Of Adjustment Disorders And Its Treatments

Posted in Category : General Health

Adjustment disorder is a psychological disorder in which the person suffering from it has acute reactions to some stressful triggers or stressors. Based on the different reactions and triggers, adjustment disorders are of six types and can be acute or chronic. It is also a vague and all-encompassing disorder which exhibits many symptoms.

Stressors refer to stressful or unusual incidents in the person’s life. These incidents can be major or minor incidents in the person’s life and accordingly trigger small or large symptoms. A major incident could be moving to a new neighborhood and a minor incident like a bad report card. Most people go through this change in a few months but if you continue to feel depressed or rundown even months later, you should get checked for adjustment disorder.


Symptoms of adjustment disorders include anxiety. People who suffer from adjustment disorders have a lot of anxiety. It is usually uncontrollable anxiety. These people are called chronic worriers and tend to be anxious about every small event that happens. Other symptoms are hopelessness, thoughts of suicide, difficulty concentrating, feeling overwhelmed and worry. Many factors play a role in deciding what even can become a trigger. These symptoms can also translate into physical symptoms like avoiding family and friends, fighting, vandalism and even skipping school or job. Factors like age, cognitive development, gender and past experiences play a big part. These incidents usually decide how the person will deal with situations. There are different subtypes in adjustment disorders. They are adjustment disorders with depressed moods, with anxiety, with anxiety and depressed moods, with disturbance of conduct and with mixed emotional disturbance and disturbed conduct. These different kinds of adjustment disorders include associative behavior like depressed moods, somatic or sexual dysfunction along with guilt and obsession. Women tend to suffer more from this disorder.

Adjustment disorders do not occur a lot in children as children usually do not need coping mechanisms. Coping mechanisms often appear with age and children tend to treat each experience as it is. In fact adjustment disorders in adults are quite common and quite uncommon in children. The symptoms in adjustment disorders include anxiety and disturbance of conduct. In fact teenagers with the symptoms of adjustment disorder can even be susceptible to schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Adjustment disorder could be confused with post traumatic stress disorder (PSTD) but it has a shorter incidence as against PSTD which can be a lifelong ailment.


Adjustment disorders even have treatment. The main method used is psychotherapy. In psychotherapy the reaction to the triggers are reduced and a behavior change is encouraged. Anxiety is a symptom that the body is telling the person that something is wrong and needs to be corrected. Methods of treatment include counseling, therapy, family therapy, interventions and other methods to verbalize the fear and anxiety that leads to adjustment disorders. Sometimes drugs like anti depressants are also used in small doses. It can take up to 6 months to be completely cured of this disorder. There are also some herbal remedies but therapy is best. Effective remedy is required and acute cases of adjustment disorder can lead to even suicide in extreme cases.

Psychiatrists do not always agree about the validity of this disease because of the vagueness of condition. Because doctors are not able to specify what exact cause is a trigger, this disorder is called a reactive disorder and not so much a disorder in the brain. People with chronic illnesses are known to get this disorder especially cancer patients. No link has been found in the chronic pain and adjustment disorder, cancer patients tend to suffer from this.