What Is Adjustment Disorder?

Adjustment disorder is an unexpectedly strong emotional or behavioral reaction that occurs in response to an identifiable stressful life event or life change that occurred within the previous three months and generally does not go beyond six months.

What Causes Adjustment Disorder?

Adjustment disorder develops as a reaction to a stressful life event or a major life change. Events or changes that may cause you to develop adjustment disorder include:

  • Marital Problems
  • Relationship Problems
  • Divorce
  • Family Conflict
  • Sexuality Issues
  • Health Problems
  • Developing a Serious Illness, Yourself or a Loved One
  • Being a Victim to a Crime
  • Having an Accident
  • Death of a Loved One
  • Unexpected Catastrophes
  • Financial problems
  • Losing or Changing a Job
  • School Changes
  • Moving
  • Major Life Changes such as Getting Married, Having a Baby, Retirement
  • Living Through a Disaster, such as a Fire, Flood, or Hurricane
  • General Life Changes
  • Ongoing Stressful Life Events

What are the Symptoms of Adjustment Disorder?

Symptoms of adjustment disorder vary according to the subtype. You may experience one or more of the following symptoms if you have adjustment disorder:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive Worrying
  • Poor Concentration
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Feeling Overwhelmed
  • Depression
  • Inappropriate Conduct
  • Avoiding Family and Friends
  • Feelings of Helpless or Hopelessness
  • Bouts of Tearfulness
  • Worry
  • Suicidal Behavior
  • Trembling or Twitching
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Headaches or Stomachaches
  • Physical Complaints
  • Withdrawal and Absence from Previous Interests
  • Change in Appetite
  • Fatigue