Adjustment Disorders. Both men and women can develop an adjustment disorder when in a stressful situation or period in their lives. Additionally, both children and adults may suffer from this mental health disorder. Learn how individuals with an adjustment disorder can be helped with compassionate and effective Raleigh psychotherapy right here in North Carolina.
What Exactly Is an Adjustment Disorder?
Actually, there are six major types of adjustment disorders according to a Raleigh based psychiatrist. These include:
- Adjustment disorder with depressed mood
- Adjustment disorder with anxiety
- Also, Adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood
- Adjustment disorder with disturbance of conduct
- Adjustment disorder with mixed disturbance of emotions and conduct
- Lastly, Adjustment disorder unspecified
Some Common Characteristics of an Adjustment Disorder Explained
Adjustment disorders are hard to diagnose as certain symptoms overlap or coincide with other psychiatric disorders and some chronic health-related conditions. In general, people diagnosed with an adjustment disorder are experiencing more intense reactions than perhaps most people react to some type of difficult or traumatic situation. This could be a death of a close family member, change in living situation, like a move or an adoption, difficulty with job changes or school-related changes and adjustment of soldiers coming home from the battlefields.
Most people with an adjustment disorder will experience depression and/or anxiety or a combination of the two. The person may try to handle the issue by acting out behaviorally at work, in school, at home, or against society in general. This could include trouble with the law in some cases. Some examples include:
- Reckless behaviors
- Skipping school or causing problems at school
- Uncharacteristic fighting or bullying behaviors
- Resistance to authority or others that are close to the individual
- Taking off from work too often
- Experiencing stress with relationships
Other people with an adjustment disorder will tend to isolate or withdraw from their normal social groups, activities, or society in general. Some examples include:
- Becoming withdrawn
- Isolating – staying in a room or on a computer all the time
- Avoiding family or other important social events
- Intense periods of crying
- Overly worried about even small things
Another type of reaction common with someone experiencing an adjustment disorder includes the development of physical symptoms and/or exacerbation of some chronic health conditions already present. These individuals might not be accurately diagnosed since they are only showing physical symptoms that will be addressed at their medical doctor’s office.
How Mental Health Experts Differentiate Adjustment Disorder with Other Mental Health Issues
Many psychiatric disorders may overlap with others and can involve physical ailments as well. This is why some mental health disorders are hard to diagnose. The difference in an adjustment disorder versus other issues is primarily the length of time that these symptoms will typically remain. In an adjustment disorder, symptoms will usually arise within three months of the stressful event or other change. Once symptoms start, they will resolve mostly in three to six months if the problem is an adjustment disorder and not another chronic mental health condition.
What Ages Are More Susceptible for Development of an Adjustment Disorder?
All of the milestone points during a typical lifetime can trigger an adjustment disorder reaction. This would include younger children with a sudden change in their living circumstances including entering foster care, being adopted, or starting school. Other vulnerable times include adolescence, mid-life years, and later on after retirement or older. However, it should be noted that an adjustment disorder can and does occur with any age.
It is Important to Get a Physical Workup & Psychiatric Assessment
As already stated, some adjustment disorders present with physical symptoms. So even if it is clearly a psychiatric disorder, in this case, it is important to get a full medical workup to rule out physical causes that often mimic psychiatric issues. It is crucial to get a full psychiatric evaluation to properly diagnose an adjustment disorder and treat the issue in an appropriate and effective manner.
Professional Psychotherapy Can Be Key to Treating Adjustment Disorders
Adjustment disorders can be difficult to diagnose, but once diagnosed, professional psychotherapy by a trained and compassionate mental health counselor can be key to treating the issue and helping the person recover and move on. If necessary, medication to treat anxiety and/or depression may be indicated at least for a short time. Also, adjustment disorders are often help dramatically by involvement with others experiencing similar symptoms like in support groups.
Lastly, Contact MedPsych Integrated in Raleigh for further assistance. Visit our blog pages via https://www.medpsychnc.com/raleigh-psychiatry-blog.