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Adjustment Disorder


Adjustment disorders are stress-related conditions, which triggers when someone experiences overwhelming stressors such as the death of a loved one, relationship issues, or retrenchment from work. 


Signs and symptoms of adjustment disorder may vary according to an individual. Some symptoms may include frequent feeling sad and hopeless, frequent crying, anxiety, trouble sleeping, lack of appetite, unable to focus, withdrawal from social support, feeling overwhelmed and avoidance.


The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) defines Adjustment Disorder as “the presence of emotional or behavioural symptoms in response to an identifiable stressor/s, which occurred within three months of the beginning of the stressor/s. Most symptoms eventually disappear within six months after the event. However, the symptom may continue if the stressor is ongoing such as a long period of unemployment and pandemic.


While there is a certain similarity, adjustment disorder is different from PTSD. Adjustment disorder onset involves a stressful event or change in the environment, while an overwhelming traumatic event triggers PTSD.


The primary treatment for adjustment disorder is counselling and psychotherapy, though some people may also require medication. The length of therapy will depend on the need of the individual. Therapy aims to help the person regulate emotions and develop skills to manage the challenges.


If you think you may be suffering from adjustment disorder, do consult professionals to process your issues and explore skills to cope with your challenges. Call Restoring Peace at 94849067.

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