When you or your loved one finds it difficult to cope with a stressful life event, they may be experiencing one of a group of adjustment disorders. This group can include relationship issues, the death of a loved one, being fired from work, life changes, unexpected catastrophes, and medical conditions such as cancer. While everyone encounters stress, some people have abnormal and excessive reactions to an identifiable life stressor, more severe than would normally be expected. These reactions can result in significant impairment in social, occupational, or academic functioning or even cause physical symptoms.
Adjustment disorders can affect both adults and children. Symptoms can vary widely and can include:
- Depressed mood
- Impaired social functioning or performance at work
- Physical aches and pains, stomachache, headache, or chest pain
- Conduct disturbances such as truancy, vandalism, reckless driving or fighting
- Withdrawal from activities or from people
- Anxiety, worry, stress and tension
These disorders can be successfully treated with therapy, medication, or a combination of both. With help, recover can be rapid.