Adjustment Disorders

An Adjustment Disorder is defined as an emotional or behavioral reaction to a particularly stressful event that is more severe and lasts longer than is typical. It may take place immediately or within up to three months of the event. In some circumstances, the reaction may last up to six months. 

Adjustment Disorders may occur at any age, however, adolescents frequently develop symptoms that manifest themselves behaviorally.  Adults, on the other hand, are more likely to experience depressive symptoms. Adjustment Disorders are distinguished from depression, anxiety, or behavioral problems, in that a specific stressor must be causative.

Stressors that can potentially lead to an adjustment disorder could include:

  • The loss of a loved one or pet
  • Termination of employment
  • Financial hardship
  • Any major life even like getting married, moving to a new city, or a divorce
  • Being the victim of an accident, harassment, sexual or violent assault

Dr. Watts has a long history of treating and providing clear guidance on healthy coping mechanisms during times of stress that can cause Adjustment Disorders.

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