Recognizing Adjustment Disorder

If you have never heard of adjustment disorder, you're not alone. It's difficult to recognize due to the fact that it presents in similar ways as other mental illnesses, such as anxiety disorders. Knowing what to expect when adjustment disorder is diagnosed can help make the process easier to understand and cope. Here are a few things you should know about adjustment disorder.

The name of the disorder says it all—adjustment disorder is when you struggle to adjust after some type of major change in your life that caused you stress. This can be from anything, such as a teenager moving away to college, starting a new job, having a child, or losing someone close to you. Any stressor can cause this to happen. It normally takes a month (or two or three) to adjust to these situations, but if after six months or a year, you still find yourself struggling, this could be a sign of a problem.

Most people exhibit similar symptoms to other anxiety disorders when adjustment is the issue. You will likely feel hopeless or helpless, sad, anxious, destructive, overwhelmed, desperate, and alone. Part of the reason behind many of these symptoms is the fact that those with this disorder tend to isolate themselves, and this causes the symptoms to increase.

If the symptoms go on over six months, you likely will be diagnosed with chronic adjustment disorder, which can require both therapy and medication to overcome. If you have been struggling with adjusting to a new situation, contact your physician today, and get the help you need!


N.A. "Adjustment Disorders." Mayo Clinic (Website). (2015).
  • 4 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • Thats very interesting indeed.
  • I couldn't agree with you more because myself have found me suffering from this at least once in life an never realized of it until now. 

    Thankfully was a temporary issue that went alone by itself.
  • Interesting post. I feel like to a degree we all struggle with adjustment - I mean, it can be super difficult moving away to go to college, or dealing with the impact a new baby brings to a household (I've been dealing with that the past 6 months - it's certainly required changes!) but I guess like you said it's about the prolonged nature of the inability to adjust.

    I feel like if something had me struggling for a very long period of time it would be important to seek help for my ability to cope. 
  • I know someone who suffered with this after some very extreme, unexpected and sudden changes in her life. It certainly wasn't nice what she was going through. I believe I have probably suffered with this at some point in my life too. However, I think the other mental issues I was also suffering with at the time were probably a lot more extreme in comparison.
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