An adjustment disorder is a short-term mental health condition occurring when you struggle to cope with or adjust to a stressful situation or event. Psychiatrists today also call this condition “stress response syndrome.” Symptoms look very much like major depression. But this disorder does not affect people in as many ways as depression. For example, you may not suffer suicidal thinking, sleep, energy or appetite problems.

MedPsych Integrated in Raleigh, North Carolina uses integrative psychiatry to diagnose and treat stress response syndrome. To help you understand your condition and get back to wellness, we use a variety of physical and mental health evaluations and treatment methods.

These include:

  • Psychiatric evaluation
  • Health history review
  • Onsite blood draws
  • Genetic testing
  • Psychotherapy
  • Medication management

What triggers an adjustment disorder?

Your stress response syndrome triggers according to stressful circumstances, such as:

  • Divorce or breakup of a relationship
  • Lost employment or job changes
  • Death of a loved one
  • Serious health diagnosis
  • Crime victimization
  • Accident or injury
  • Major life changes, like marriage, having a baby or retiring
  • Natural disaster

AD is not the same as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD occurs after a life-threatening event and symptoms begin at least one or more months after that event. Also, AD symptoms usually start sooner after the stressful event. PTSD symptoms also last longer, whereas adjustment disorder symptoms typically last only up to six months.

Adjustment Disorder Symptoms

Symptoms of stress response syndrome vary from person-to-person, but typically include:

  • Hopeless feelings
  • Sadness
  • Frequent crying
  • Anxiety
  • Worry
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headaches
  • Stomach aches
  • Withdrawal or isolation
  • Absences from work or school
  • Risk taking behavior
  • Low energy
  • Sleep problems
  • Substance abuse

Is stress response syndrome common?

Stress response syndrome is highly common. Also, anyone of any age, gender, race or lifestyle can experience adjustment disorder. But it most commonly occurs after major life transitions, such as in teen years, young adulthood, mid-life and after retirement.

Do I have an adjustment disorder?

The best way to understand whether you have a stress response syndrome is to visit your integrative psychiatrist for a psychiatric evaluation. At MedPsych Integrated, we diagnose this disorder after a thorough mental and physical evaluation. This screening includes psych evaluation, genetic testing, health history review and onsite blood draws.

If you have stress response syndrome or any other mental health condition, we develop an integrative treatment plan. Also, this plan helps you reestablish balanced wellness and manage symptoms as they arise through healthy coping methods. To arrive at a diagnosis, your MedPsych Integrated psychiatrist looks for signs of stress response syndrome. They ask you about your symptoms, their intensity, and duration, particularly how these effects affect your daily functioning.

If you do not have an adjustment disorder, you may experience another mental illness. Possibilities include major depression, PTSD, anxiety disorder or other condition. Also, whatever the outcome and diagnosis, you can soon start feeling better through psychoanalysis, other therapy, medication management or other methods.

High Risk for Substance Abuse

As with many other mental health conditions, an adjustment disorder often leads people to use drugs or alcohol in self-medication of their symptoms. But drinking or using drugs is never a healthy means of treating this condition. Also, instead, this behavior causes your effects to worsen.

You can also quickly slip into a substance use disorder, also called addiction. Additionally, if you develop an addiction, you need dual diagnosis treatment. This treatment helps you recover from both of your co-occurring conditions at once, instead of treating only one or the other. Studies prove that treating both at the same time provides better recovery results, including higher potential for long-term wellness. Also, if you treat only your mental health problem or the substance abuse and not the other condition, you risk relapse. The untreated condition triggers the treated one back into activity. This creates a spiral as part of the cycle of a dual diagnosis disorder.

Do I need treatment for my mental health condition?

Treatment benefits any mental health condition, including an adjustment disorder. Furthermore, the disorder will not go away on its own and can instead lead to even bigger problems when left untreated. The caring professionals of MedPsych Integrated understand the struggles you face in dealing with your mental health problem each day. Additionally, with your first visit and a psychiatric evaluation, you can quickly start feeling better. Also, for proper diagnosis and integrative treatment for balanced wellness, schedule your first visit at MedPsych Integrated in Raleigh today.

Lastly, Call us at 919-582-7272.