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Adjustment Disorder

Adjustment disorders are stress-related conditions. An adjustment disorder is a short-term condition that occurs when a person has great difficulty coping with or adjusting to, a particular source of stress, such as a major life change, loss, or event. The reaction is more severe than would normally be expected and can result in significant impairment in social, occupational, or academic functioning. An adjustment disorder/stress response syndrome is not the same as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Adjustment disorder/stress response syndrome is very common and can affect anyone, regardless of gender, age, race, or lifestyle.
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Adjustment Disorder Defined

The presence of emotional or behavioral symptoms in response to an identifiable stressor is the essential feature of adjustment disorders. The stressor may be a single event, or there may be multiple stressors. Stressors may be recurrent or continuous. Adjustment disorders may be diagnosed following the death of a loved one when the intensity, quality, or persistence of grief reactions exceeds what normally might be expected when cultural, religious, or age-appropriate norms are taken into account. Some stressors may accompany specific developmental events (e.g., leaving the parental home, and going to school). Symptoms must arise within three months of the onset of the stressor and last no longer than six months after the stressor has ended. Symptoms in children and adolescents tend to be more behavioral in nature, such as skipping school, fighting, or acting out. Adults, on the other hand, tend to experience more emotional symptoms, such as sadness and anxiety.

Different Types of Adjustment Disorders

There are six different subtypes of adjustment disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-V.

  1. With depressed mood- Low mood, tearfulness, or feelings of hopelessness are predominant.
  2. With anxiety- Nervousness, jitteriness, worry, or separation anxiety is predominant.
  3. With mixed anxiety and depressed mood- A combination of depression and anxiety is predominant.
  4. With the disturbance of conduct- The disturbance of conduct is predominant.
  5. With mixed disturbance of emotions and conduct- Both emotional symptoms (e.g., depression, anxiety) and a disturbance of conduct are predominant.
  6. Unspecified- For maladaptive reactions that are not classifiable as one of the specific subtypes of adjustment disorder.

Adjustment Disorder Causes

Adjustment disorders are caused by life stressors. Factors that influence how well a person reacts to stress cause an individual to be more susceptible to an adjustment disorder. These factors may include economic conditions, availability of social support, and occupational and recreational opportunities. Susceptibility to stress may include such factors as social skills, intelligence, genetics, and existing coping strategies.

Adjustment Disorder Symptoms

Symptoms of Adjustment Disorder include:

  • Feeling sad, hopeless, or not enjoying things you used to enjoy
  • Frequent crying
  • Worrying or feeling anxious, nervous, jittery, or stressed out
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Lack of appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Impulsive actions
  • Difficulty functioning in daily activities
  • Withdrawing from social supports
  • Body pain or soreness
  • Indigestion
  • Avoiding important things such as going to work or paying bills
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior

How to Approach a Loved One About Adjustment Disorder

There is no perfect way to approach a loved one that you assume or know is struggling with an adjustment disorder. If a family member or friend displays symptoms of an adjustment disorder, urge them to talk to a mental health professional. If a child or adolescent is struggling with an adjustment disorder, seek out an evaluation. Offer support and encouragement as much as possible is also helpful. Even though there is no known way to prevent adjustment disorder, strong family and social support can help a person work through a particularly stressful situation or event.

Types of Adjustment Disorder Treatment

The best prevention is early treatment, which can reduce the severity and duration of symptoms, and teach new coping skills. The primary goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms and help the person achieve a level of functioning comparable to that before the stressful event. Treatments for adjustment disorders include psychotherapy, medications, or both.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy or psychological counseling is used to identify the patterns of behaviors, thoughts, beliefs, etc. that may impact individuals with adjustment disorder. Therapy helps the person understand how and why the stressor has affected his or her life. It also helps the person develop better coping skills and stress management to deal with stressful events. Therapy can provide emotional support, help return to a normal routine, place stressors in perspective to overall life, and help the individual view stressors as a chance for positive change or improvement.

Support Groups

Support groups can be helpful by allowing the person to discuss their concerns and feelings with people who are coping with the same stress. Through support groups, individuals can also learn from their peers how others deal with stressful life events and how they have made progress in dealing with their adjustment disorders.

Medications

Some people with adjustment disorders benefit from taking medications. Medications are used to lessen some of the symptoms of adjustment disorders, such as insomnia, depression, and anxiety. These medications include benzodiazepines, nonbenzodiazepine anxiolytics, SSRIs or SNRIs. If an individual is taking medications, it is important to know the side effects of the medication and consult a psychiatrist.


Adjustment Disorder Treatment at Clarity Clinic

At Clarity Clinic, we understand the challenges that come with life's unexpected changes and transitions. Our specialized approach to Adjustment Disorder treatment is designed to provide you with the tools and support needed to navigate these challenges and regain your emotional well-being. Don't let adjustment difficulties define your life – take the crucial step towards healing and resilience by reaching out to us to schedule an appointment. Your journey to a more balanced and empowered life begins right here.

Adjustment Disorder Providers

Jenny
Jenny Mantis, LCSW, MBA
Therapy
Bryanna
Bryanna Tartt, LCSW
Therapy
Alexandra
Alexandra Gremp, LPC, MEd, PEL
Therapy
Jade
Jade Austin, MA
Therapy
Elizabeth
Elizabeth Black, LCPC
Director of Clinical Therapy
Ross
Ross Pepper, MD
Psychiatrist
Jessica
Jessica Selk, LPC
Therapy
Bellah
Bellah Kiteki, LPC
Therapy
Anish
Anish Desai, MD
Psychiatrist
Eldina
Eldina Okic, LCPC
Therapy
Rebecca
Rebecca Helm, LSW
Therapy
Peri
Peri Drury, Clinical Intern
Therapy
Ryan
Ryan Atkins, PA
Psychiatry
Kaitlyn
Kaitlyn Ehler, LSW
Therapy
Cesar
Cesar Feijoo, PA-C
PA-C
Hannah
Hannah Wychocki, PA-C
PA-C
Maisha
Maisha Lowery, LCPC
Therapy
Lauren
Lauren Isdale, NP
Nurse Practitioner
Hope
Hope Hirsch, LPC
Therapist
Nathaniel
Nathaniel Epstein, MA
Therapist
Gabriella
Gabriella Lerner, PA-C
PA-C
Cyrus
Cyrus Ma, PA-C
PA-C
Maggie
Maggie Semprevivo, LSW
Therapy
Kamille
Kamille Haywood, LSW
Therapy
Zubair
Zubair Khan, PA-C
PA-C
Michelle
Michelle Augoustatos, LCSW
Therapy
Zachary
Zachary Delgado, LSW
Therapy
Nicholas
Nicholas Zaris, LPC
Therapy
Jordyn
Jordyn Pope, MA
Therapist
Laurel
Laurel Meiborg, LSW
Therapy
Haley
Haley Tarling, LPC
Therapist
Debby
Debby Fox, MA
Therapist
Raul
Raul Andrade, MA
Therapist
Sarah
Sarah Tarabey, LCPC
Therapist
Kumail
Kumail Hussain, MD
Young Adult and Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist
Kyla
Kyla Goggin, LCSW
Therapist
Michele
Michele Sitorus, PsyD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Jaimee
Jaimee Jaucian, LCPC, BC-DMT
Therapy
Yenisis
Yenisis De Los Santos, LSW
Therapy
Sloan
Sloan Kodroff, LCPC
Therapist, Clinical Supervisor
Rahael
Rahael Mathew, LCPC
Therapist
Megan
Megan Becker, PA-C
PA-C
Emma
Emma Arsic, PA-C
PA-C
Paul
Paul Bamberger, PA-C
PA-C
Tonie
Tonie White, LCSW
Therapy
Jason
Jason Brescia, LCPC
Therapy
Sankrant
Sankrant Reddy, MD
Psychiatrist
Virginia
Virginia Harren, LCPC
Clinical Supervisor
Stephanie
Stephanie Osborne, PA-C
Psychiatry
Ashley
Ashley Seredynski, PA-C
PA-C
Christine
Christine Lantin, PA-C
PA-C
Brittney
Brittney Segoviano, LCPC
Therapist
Callie
Callie Perlman, LPC, NCC
Therapist
Maria
Maria Vasilopoulos, LPC, NCC
Therapy
Chad
Chad Gaynier, LCPC
Therapist
Bianca
Bianca Miller, LCPC
Therapist
Sean
Sean Saltzberg, LCSW
Therapist, Clinical Supervisor
Victoria
Victoria Nieman, LCPC
Therapist
Timothy
Timothy Kaatman, MD
Psychiatry
Sudhakar
Sudhakar Shenoy, MD
Adult and Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist
Tara
Tara Ufer, LCPC, CADC
Therapist
Sharon
Sharon Koys, PA-C
PA-C
Sara
Sara Fakhri, MA
Therapy
Veronika
Veronika Schroeder, Clinical Intern
Therapy Clinical Intern
Sarah
Sarah Smith, MA
Therapy Clinical Intern
Sean
Sean Saltzberg, LCSW
Therapist, Clinical Supervisor
Shanta
Shanta Gomez, LSW
Therapy
Reggie
Reggie Pacheco, PsyD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Sarah
Sarah Beerman, LCSW, CADC
Therapist
Renie
Renie Stoller-Zak, LCPC
Therapy
Sahar
Sahar Eftekhar, DO
General & Addiction Psychiatrist
Rebecca
Rebecca Gilfillan, MD
Psychiatrist
Rebecca
Rebecca Kuhn, PA-C
PA-C
Rachael
Rachael Pettinicchi, MA
Therapy Clinical Intern
Shelby
Shelby Gordon, LCSW
Therapy
Sonnie
Sonnie Cousins, MA
Therapy
Nicole
Nicole Ortiz, PhD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Raymond
Raymond Monge, LPC, NCC
Therapy
Elana
Elana Horowitz, PA-C
PA-C
Pavan
Pavan Prasad, MD
Psychiatrist
Melissa
Melissa Melzer, LPC
Therapy
Mary
Mary Leighton, LPC
Therapy
Raymond
Raymond Myles, PsyD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Michael
Michael Colombatto, PsyD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Lovea
Lovea Smith, LCPC
Director of Therapy– Loop
Mariyah
Mariyah Hussain, MD
Adult and Child/Adolescent Psychiatrist
Leslie
Leslie Wolf, LCPC
Therapist
Maddie
Maddie Barnes, LCSW, PMH-C
Therapist, Clinical Supervisor
Lindsey
Lindsey Ashamalla, PsyD (PD)
Therapist
Khrystyna
Khrystyna Helner, LPC, MBA
Therapist
Laura
Laura Schroeder, LCPC
Therapist
Katerina
Katerina Fager, LCPC
Clinical Specialist
Kelli
Kelli Lo, LSW
Therapy
Kiran Binal
Kiran Binal Maharaja, MD
Psychiatrist
Karen
Karen Richardson, LCSW, ICDVP
Therapy
Keri
Keri Perillo, LCPC, CADC
Therapy
Lizzie
Lizzie Ausland, LCPC, CADC
Therapist
Kimberlie
Kimberlie Kuehne, LCPC
Therapy
Kalyan
Kalyan Rao, MD
Psychiatrist
Jonathan
Jonathan Kolakowski, MD
Psychiatrist
Karla
Karla Avila-Polanco, Clinical Intern
Therapy Clinical Intern
Judy
Judy Bitzer, LCPC
Therapist
Kaitlyn
Kaitlyn Delaney, MA, ATR-P
Therapy
James
James Histed, Clinical Intern
Therapy Clinical Intern
Keith
Keith Merrifield, LCSW, CCTP, ADHD-CCSP
Therapist
Julia
Julia Ray, Clinical Intern
Therapy
Jessica
Jessica Masbaum, LCSW
Therapist, Clinical Supervisor
Erika
Erika Bielenstein, LCPC
Therapist
Janel
Janel Wenger, AMFT
Therapist
Jeanette
Jeanette Marinier, PA-C
PA-C
Jamie
Jamie Schubert, PA-C
PA-C
Sherita
Sherita Hernton, PA-C
PA-C
Julie
Julie Daley, MSW
Therapist
Hattie
Hattie Awe, Clinical Intern
Therapy Clinical Intern
Jodi
Jodi Randle, LCPC, CADC
Therapist, Clinical Supervisor
Emily
Emily Maurer, LCPC
Therapist
Frank
Frank Sassetti, PsyD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Emily
Emily Street, PA-C
PA-C
Emily
Emily Shelton, LCPC, LMHC, CADC, CAGCS, CRSS
Therapy
Eric
Eric Buchkoe, PsyD (PD)
Therapy
Tyler
Tyler Basham, Intern
Therapy Clinical Intern
Elizabeth
Elizabeth Russell, MA
Therapist
Thomas
Thomas Thurlow, NP
Psychiatry
Savannah
Savannah Sullivan, PA-C
PA-C
Kathryn
Kathryn Ross, PA-C
Psychiatry
Summer
Summer Slininger, PA-C
PA-C
Ravali
Ravali Poreddy, MD
Psychiatrist
Ariella
Ariella Panos, PA-C
PA-C
James
James Ham, PA-C
Psychiatry
Rayna
Rayna Gorstein, PA-C
PA-C
Daniel
Daniel Shuter, LSW
Therapist
Victoria
Victoria Akhteebo, LPC
Therapy
Sierra
Sierra Purcell, PA-C
PA-C
Darian
Darian Carter, LPC
Therapy
Emily
Emily Hoag, MD
Psychiatrist
Ali
Ali Sheikha, PA-C
PA-C
Grace
Grace Starrs, PA-C
Psychiatry
Cassie
Cassie Donahue, PA-C
Psychiatry
Gayathri
Gayathri Ganesh, PA-C
PA-C
Stella
Stella Tantillo, LSW
Therapy
Samuel
Samuel Budyszewick, LCSW
Director of Therapy- Evanston
Sydney
Sydney Means, LCSW
Therapist, Clinical Supervisor
Sara
Sara Pickens, LSW
Therapy
Ryan
Ryan Watters, LSW, CADC
Therapy
Samuel
Samuel Eckert, PA-C
PA-C
Cindy
Cindy Meraz, LPC
Therapy
Chloe
Chloe Wesley, Clinical Intern
Therapy
Nayeli
Nayeli Cruz-Castillo, LCPC
Therapy
Rafael
Rafael Lopez, MD
Psychiatrist
Nicholas
Nicholas Little, PA-C
PA-C
Samantha
Samantha Espinosa, MA
Therapy
Randi
Randi Schulman, LCSW
Therapist, Clinical Supervisor
Savanna
Savanna Murphy, LSW
Therapy
Kaitlin
Kaitlin Digrispino, LPC
Therapy
Scott
Scott Shadrick, PA-C
PA-C
Khadija
Khadija Manzoor, LPC, CRC
Therapy
Mira
Mira Ebalo, PA-C
PA-C
Lauren
Lauren Stanley, LCSW
Therapy
Meredith
Meredith Henry, LSW
Therapy
Mark
Mark Bey, LPC
Therapy
Samantha
Samantha Adjekum, LCPC
Therapy
Miriam
Miriam Mixon, LCSW
Therapist, Clinical Supervisor
Joel
Joel Muller, Ph.D.
Director of Clinical Therapy- River North
Mary
Mary Ivory, LCPC
Therapy
Cynthia
Cynthia Sodini, LCSW
Therapy
Jessica
Jessica Baran, LCPC
Therapy
Justin
Justin Lee, PA-C
PA-C
Jacqueline
Jacqueline Campagna, MA, EdS
Therapy
Jordan
Jordan Valentic-Holden, MA
Therapy
Jerri
Jerri Ganz, LCSW
Therapy
Katherine
Katherine Cunningham, LPC, CADC
Therapy
Elia
Elia Narvaez-Mushtaq, LPC
Therapy
Sam
Sam Donham, LCPC
Therapy
Carol
Carol Briggs, LPC, NCC
Therapy
Emily
Emily Filip, PA-C
PA-C
Gloria
Gloria Aguilar, LPC
Therapy
Emily
Emily Mathews, LPC, ATR-P
Therapy
Autumn
Autumn Holtschlag, ALMFT, LPC
Therapy
Liz
Liz Hand, LCSW
Therapist, Clinical Supervisor
Jenna
Jenna Jacobson, PA-C
PA-C
Dane
Dane Davlantis, LCPC
Therapist, Clinical Supervisor
Carolyn
Carolyn Tatar, AMFT
Therapist
Caitlin
Caitlin Daughtry, PA-C
PA-C