What is Adjustment Disorder?
It is a stress-related condition; plainly stated, it means that you are experiencing more than a “normal” amount of stress in response to a life change, unexpected event, or difficult circumstance. Further, this stress is causing you to experience significant issues in your relationships, your job, or at school.
Work-related problems, relocating, going away to school, illness, death of a friend or family member – all of these life changes, among others, can cause stress. Usually we adjust to such changes within a few months. But those with an adjustment disorder continue to suffer from feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, stress, and more. But you don’t have to go through it alone. The compassionate, caring counselors at Thriveworks Blacksburg have helped restore emotional balance to many people’s lives.
How do I know if I’m experiencing adjustment disorder?
Signs and symptoms can vary from person to person. But if you’re reading this, you’re probably struggling with something in your life, and that’s the best reason to reach out for support. You don’t have to accept that you “experience more stress than would normally be expected in response to a stressful event,” and you don’t have to accept the stress that causes significant problems in your life.
Adjustment disorder often will affect how you feel and think about yourself and the world around you. It may even affect your actions or behavior. You may be experiencing some of these symptoms:
- Feeling sad, hopeless or not enjoying things you used to enjoy
- Frequent crying
- Worrying or feeling anxious, nervous, or stressed out
- Trouble sleeping
- Lack of appetite
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Difficulty functioning in daily activities
- Withdrawing from social supports
- Avoiding important things such as going to work or paying bills
- Suicidal thoughts or behavior
What might cause me to develop adjustment disorder?
Stressful life events put you at risk of developing an adjustment disorder. For example:
- Divorce or marital problems
- Relationship or interpersonal problems
- Losing a job, or financial issues
- Problems in school or at work
- Loss of a loved one
- Life-threatening experiences, such as physical assault, combat or natural disaster
- Ongoing stressors, such as illness
- Even positive events, such as retirement, having a baby or going away to school
Although adjustment disorders are caused by major changes or stressors in your life, there are other factors such as genetics, life experiences, and even your temperament, that may increase your likelihood of developing an adjustment disorder.
- Having experienced significant stress growing up
- Other current mental health issues
- More than one difficult life circumstance occurring at the same time
Should I seek help or just wait it out?
If adjustment disorders do not resolve, they can possibly lead to more serious mental health problems such as anxiety disorders, depression or substance abuse.
Normal periods of stress are temporary, and as part of life, we simply learn to cope with them. Our stress level decreases if/when the source of the stress is removed. But what if the stressful event doesn’t go away, but remains a part of your life? What if a new stressful situation comes up, and you face the same emotional struggles all over again?
The therapists at Thriveworks Blacksburg want to offer you the support you need when you’re continuing to struggle or if you’re having trouble getting through each day. They want to help you cope with stressful events and feel stronger and more like yourself again. You don’t have to struggle. You don’t have to suffer. Call today at 540-376-3348 to schedule your session with a skilled, caring counselor, and start your journey to wellness.