Adjustment Disorder Symptoms, Causes, Signs & Side Effects

There are certain life experiences that can challenge your ability to adapt in a healthy manner. For instance, if you get married or divorced, start a new job or retire, have a new baby or see your child off to college, or move to a new neighborhood, you may have a hard time getting used to the new change and experience a decline in your functioning as a result.

Understanding Adjustment Disorder

Learn More About Adjustment Disorder

If you should feel depressed, anxious, overly tense, and other such feelings that begin to impact your ability to carry out your responsibilities and daily tasks, you may be suffering from adjustment disorder.

A common mental health condition that can range in severity, adjustment disorder is something that impacts many men’s and women’s lives. Thankfully, if you’re grappling with the symptoms and effects of adjustment disorder, it’s possible for you to resume your life and to successfully adapt to your recent life change and others that may come your way. With proper care, you can heal and overcome adjustment disorder and live the happy and healthy life that you deserve.


Statistics of Adjustment Disorder

Adjustment disorder is believed to impact many people, both those who seek treatment and those who don’t. In fact, recent reports show that almost half of all men and women admitted to inpatient hospital settings meet diagnostic criteria for this illness. Furthermore, it’s been realized that more women grapple with the symptoms of adjustment disorder than men, and that the vast majority of people battling this condition are also suffering from other co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders at the same time.

Co-Occurring Disorders

Learn About Co-Occurring Disorders

Whether the symptoms of adjustment disorder triggered the onset of other mental health concerns, or if you grappled with other disorders prior to the emergence of this illness, it’s very possible that you could require treatment for co-occurring mental disorders in the event you seek treatment. Given this fact, you may be treated for one or more of the following at the same time as adjustment disorder:

  • Panic disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Depressive disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Specific phobias


Causes of Adjustment Disorder

The onset of adjustment disorder symptoms is directly linked to experiencing some sort of change in life that is especially difficult to adapt to. However, if you lack the necessary skills for coping with stress and change, have inadequate support to help you get through tumultuous times in your life, or if you have endured a great deal of adversity in your life prior to the change you experienced, your risk of eventually struggling with adjustment disorder is greater.

Risk Factors:

  • Moving to a new community
  • Experiencing the loss of a loved one
  • Experiencing the end of a romantic relationship
  • Surviving a trauma
  • Having a baby
  • Going through a divorce
  • Suffering from a medical condition
  • Retiring from a job

substance abuse or alcoholism.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms of Adjustment Disorder

While a common mental health condition, not many people know the telltale signs of adjustment disorder. If you’re wondering if a change in your life has left you now struggling with this illness, note the presence of the following symptoms:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Onset of self-harming behaviors
  • No longer participating in activities that were once enjoyed
  • Tearfulness
  • Making attempts at suicide
  • Failure to attend work or school
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Drop in performance at work or school
  • No longer adhering to daily responsibilities

Physical symptoms:

  • Chest pains
  • Changes in eating patterns
  • Bodily aches and pains
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Persistent headaches
  • Muscle tension

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Poor concentration
  • Inability to make good decisions
  • Memory problems
  • Poor decision making

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Feelings of worry
  • Emotional instability
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Feelings of nervousness


Effects of Adjustment Disorder

It’s important for you to know that the symptoms of adjustment disorder can grow worse the longer treatment is delayed. For many people, which can include you, the following adverse effects can happen and alter the course of one’s life if a person continues to suffer from untreated adjustment disorder symptoms:

  • Disturbed interpersonal relationships
  • Decline in social interactions
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Substance abuse
  • Decreased performance at work
  • Self-harm
  • Onset of symptoms of other mental health disorders
  • Job loss

My wife was struggling to adjust after the passing of her father. Park Royal was able to help her move past her loss and look toward the future of our family.

– Jeff G