Adjustment Disorder Effects, Signs & Symptoms

Understanding Adjustment Disorder

What does Adjustment Disorder Look like?

Adjustment disorder is a trauma-related mental health condition that is directly caused by a life event that proves to be too difficult to adapt to when it happens. For some individuals, a change in life is welcome, as it can mean the start of something new and exciting that gives variety to the routine of day-to-day living. However, there are those who experience similar events, but can’t seem to function in a healthy manner when they occur. Moving to a new home, starting a new job, having a baby, retiring after a long career, and ending a relationship are all examples of such life events that ultimately trigger the onset of adjustment disorder symptoms.

Oscillating emotions, tearfulness, a depressive state, anxious feelings, sleep problems, eating changes, and an overall decline in functioning are the cornerstone symptoms of this disorder, which can infringe upon one’s ability to go to work, fulfill obligations at home, maintain healthy relationships, and enjoy the pleasantries of life. Over time, these symptoms can become worse, spur the onset of other mental health concerns, trigger the abuse of substances, and make the need for professional treatment inevitable. Furthermore, if additional stress occurs within a person’s life while he or she is already struggling with this illness, the previously mentioned symptoms can become more severe and the resulting effects of continuing to battle adjustment disorder can become more impactful and damaging.

However, when effective mental health treatment is received, it’s possible for the symptoms of adjustment disorder to diminish, allowing an individual to heal in a life-changing way. In addition, the professionals within a trusted treatment program can teach the skills needed to cope with life changes, offer the strategies required to manage stress in a healthy manner, and help people to develop the confidence in knowing that a change in life doesn’t have to derail an otherwise happy and healthy future. Fortunately, there is treatment available for adjustment disorder at North Tampa.


Statistics on Adjustment Disorder

Research has shown that nearly 50% of all people who are admitted for inpatient treatment meet diagnostic criteria for adjustment disorder. Given this rate, this illness is believed to be one of the most common disorders affecting individuals today. Furthermore, females are said to be more likely to grapple with this illness, as fewer males receive care for adjustment disorder. Lastly, this illness is highly co-morbid with other mental health concerns, with anxiety and depression being the most frequently diagnosed disorders in people who suffer from adjustment disorder.

Causes of Adjustment Disorder

What are the Causes and Risk Factors of Adjustment Disorder?

Even though adjustment disorder is triggered by some kind of event that hinders an individual’s ability to adapt to whatever change has happened, there are certain contributing factors that can make a person more vulnerable to eventually battling this illness. For instance, if you don’t have the necessary strategies for coping with stress in place prior to enduring a life change, you might be more susceptible to suffering from adjustment disorder. Additionally, if you don’t have proper social support and/or have a history of managing stress poorly, this disorder may soon affect your life and hamper your ability to live an otherwise satisfying life.

Risk Factors:

  • Suffering from a medical condition
  • Moving to a new community
  • Having a baby
  • Experiencing the loss of a loved one
  • Retiring from a job
  • Going through a divorce
  • Experiencing the end of a romantic relationship
  • Surviving a trauma
Signs and Symptoms of Adjustment Disorder

Learn More About the Signs and Symptoms of Adjustment Disorder

In some cases, adjustment disorder symptoms may look like those of other disorders. The reason for this is because some of this illness’s symptoms can mirror anxiety disorders, depression, and others. So, if you suspect that you may be grappling with adjustment disorder, determine if the following sounds like your current experience and seek out the help of professionals within a treatment center to receive the care you may need at this point in your life:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Tearfulness
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Drop in performance at work
  • No longer adhering to daily responsibilities
  • Making attempts at suicide
  • Onset of self-harming behaviors
  • No longer participating in activities that were once enjoyed
  • Failure to attend work

Physical symptoms:

  • Bodily aches and pains
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Muscle tension
  • Changes in eating patterns
  • Persistent headaches
  • Chest pains

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Memory problems
  • Poor concentration
  • Inability to make good decisions
  • Poor decision making

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Feelings of nervousness
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Feelings of worry
  • Anxiety
  • Emotional instability
Effects of Adjustment Disorder

Understanding the Effects of Adjustment Disorder

Since the symptoms of adjustment disorder can be especially overwhelming, it’s possible for certain adverse effects to happen if you continue to struggle with this disorder. Therefore, if you’d like to avoid the following, it’s best to consider seeking professional treatment at this time:

  • Substance abuse
  • Poor occupational performance
  • Self-harm
  • Onset of symptoms of other mental health disorders
  • Problems within interpersonal relationships
  • Social withdrawal
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Job loss
Co-Occurring Disorders

Adjustment Disorder and other Co-Occurring Disorders

Adjustment disorder is known to exist at the same time as other mental health concerns. Whether this disorder is exacerbated by other disorders or causes new ones to develop, you may be given an additional diagnosis of one of the following disorders if you start a program to heal from this illness:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Depressive disorders
  • Specific phobias
  • Panic disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
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