An Adjustment Disorder is a stress-related condition which can occur when a person experiences a disruption to their normal ability to adapt to one or more stressful life events or stressors. It can occur during times of natural transition or when confronted with a significant change in one’s life, and it may be exacerbated by high levels of stress, social and financial difficulties. It is thought to affect men and women equally, and generally occurs within three months of being exposed to a stressful life event or change.
Adjustment Disorders affect people in different ways and can cause a wide variety of symptoms. You may notice that you feel overwhelmed and more upset, worried, nervous or anxious than usual, and you may also feel less resilient or able to cope than normal. You may also notice changes in concentration, sleep and appetite, and physical symptoms such as fatigue, headaches and muscle tension. You may notice a change in behaviour too. For example, increased social withdrawal or impulsivity.
The symptoms of Adjustment Disorder can range from mild to severe. Generally, symptoms resolve within six months, however if they persist for longer, this is known as a chronic Adjustment Disorder and can signal the onset of other mental health difficulties such as Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) or Depression.
The good news however is that with the right treatment and support, people with Adjustment Disorder can make a full recovery.
Treatment for Adjustment Disorder
Many people wait a long time before seeking help for Adjustment Disorder, but it’s best not to delay. The sooner you access support, the sooner you can learn techniques and strategies to cope and overcome it.
Psychological therapy has been shown to be effective in treating Adjustment Disorder. The recommended treatments include:
· Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
· Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
· Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy
We offer both one-to-one and group therapy options for those experiencing Adjustment Disorder.
We’re here to help. If you would like to enquire about treatment for Adjustment Disorder at the Fitzrovia Psychology Clinic, please contact us to arrange an assessment.