What Is an Adjustment Disorder?

What Is an Adjustment Disorder? An adjustment disorder is a reaction to a stressful event or change in a person’s life that is emotional or behavioural. Within three months after the incident or change, the reaction is deemed an abnormal or excessive response. 


A family relocation, the parents’ divorce or separation, the loss of a pet, or the birth of a sibling can all be stressful events or changes in your child’s or adolescent’s life. An adjustment reaction may be triggered by a sudden sickness or a constraint in your child’s life due to a persistent disease.


Adjustment disorders can affect adults, however they are most commonly identified in children and adolescents.


What Is an Adjustment Disorder?: What Causes Them?

A response to an incident causes adjustment problems. Between the stressful incident and the reaction, there is no single direct reason. Temperament, previous experiences, vulnerability, and coping abilities vary widely across children and adolescents. 


Their developmental stage and capacity to deal with certain stress-related demands may have a role in their behaviour. Stressors differ in terms of how long they persist, how strong they are, and how they affect people. There is no evidence to show that a single factor causes adjustment problems.


Adjustment Disorders: Risk Factors

Children and teenagers are prone to adjustment problems. They affect both men and women equally. While adjustment problems affect people from all walks of life, the stresses and symptoms may differ depending on cultural factors.


Adjustment problems can strike people of all ages. However, it is thought that the disease has distinct features in children and adolescents than it does in adults.


Symptoms of Adjustment problems

In all adjustment disorders, the response to the stressor is greater than what would be anticipated in the absence of the illness. The reaction should also have a considerable impact on social, occupational, or educational functioning.


Additionally, there are differences in the symptoms experienced, how long they persist, how intense they are, and what influence they have as a result of age. Adjustment disorder symptoms in adolescents might be more behavioural, such as acting out. Adults with adjustment problems are more likely to have depressive symptoms.


Adjustment disorder is divided into six subgroups based on the severity of main symptoms. The most frequent symptoms of each kind of adjustment disorder are listed below. However, each adolescent may have distinct symptoms:


  1. Depressed mood and adjustment problems. Among the signs and symptoms are:

  • Depressed state of mind
  • Tearfulness
  • Feelings of despondency


  1. Anxiety-related adjustment disorder. Nervousness is one of the possible symptoms.

  • Worry
  • Jitteriness
  • Fear of being cut off from important connection figures
  • Anxiety and depression are symptoms of adjustment disorder. Both of these diseases are present, with symptoms from both.


  1. Disturbance of behaviour in addition to adjustment disorder. Other people’s rights may be violated as a symptom.


  1. Disobedience to societal norms and standards (truancy, destruction of property, reckless driving or fighting)


  1. Adjustment disorder characterised by mixed emotional and behavioural disturbances. There is a mix of symptoms from all of the aforementioned categories (depressed mood, anxiety and conduct).


  1. Unspecified adjustment disorder There are reactions to stressful situations that do not fall into one of the categories listed above. Social retreat or inhibitions to usually expected activities, such as school or job, are examples of reactions.


  1. Adjustment disorders might have symptoms that are similar to those of other medical or mental illnesses. Always seek a diagnosis from your adolescent’s health care practitioner.


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