An adjustment disorder refers to an emotional or behavioral response to a stressful event in someone’s life. The reaction is consider unhealthy or excessive within three months of the event or change. A family move, divorce or separation of parents, a pet’s death, or a sibling’s birth or adoption are all stressful events. An adjustment response may be required in the event of a sudden illness or restriction to your child’s life because of chronic disease.
Adjustment disorders can be experienced by adults, but it is most commonly diagnosed in children and teenagers.
An adjustment disorder is a response to an event. There is no single cause of stress and the answer. Children and adolescents have different temperaments, vulnerabilities, and coping skills. Their ability to cope with stress and where they are at their developmental stages may influence their reactions. The duration, strength, and effect of stressors can vary. There is no evidence to support the existence of a particular factor that causes adjustment disorders.
Children and teens are very susceptible to adjustment disorders. Both males and women can experience them. Although adjustment disorders are common in all cultures and may be caused by stressors or signs, they can vary depending on cultural influences.
Adjustment disorders can occur at any age. It is believed that the characteristics of adjustment disorders are more common in adolescents and children than adults.
All adjustment disorders have a reaction that is more than expected. The reaction must be disruptive to educational, occupational, or social functioning. Age can also have an impact: There are differences in how symptoms are experience, their duration, strength, and their effect. Adolescents with adjustment disorders may exhibit more behavioral symptoms, such as acting out. Adjustment disorders can lead to more depression in adults.
Six subtypes of adjustment disorders are classified according to the severity of the significant symptoms. These are the most common symptoms for each subtype of adjustment disorder. Each individual may experience different symptoms.
Adjustment disorders can mimic other medical conditions or psychiatric conditions. Talk to your adolescent’s healthcare provider to confirm a diagnosis.
After a thorough psychiatric evaluation, interview with parents and the child/adolescent, a psychiatrist for children and adolescents, or a qualified mental professional diagnoses adjustment disorder. During the interview, a detail personal history of the child’s development, life events, and emotional responses is taken.
Your adolescent’s healthcare provider will determine the best treatment for adjustment disorders based on the following:
The following are possible treatments:
At this point, no preventive measures can be taken to treat adjustment disorders in adolescents. Early detection and professional assistance can help reduce the severity and improve your child’s quality of life.