Natural treatment of Adjustment Disorders

Adjustment disorders occur when the reaction to stress, such as a death, job loss or divorce causes symptoms more severe than would be expected - severe enough to impact on work or relationships.

This excessive reaction begins within three months of the stressful occurrence and usually does not last longer than six months after the stress subsides.

In some cases, adjustment disorders progress to depression , generalized anxiety disorder or other mental health problems. They may result in a higher susceptibility to substance addiction, suicide and violent behaviour.



Any severe, identifiable stressful event can cause an adjustment disorder. For teenagers, it may be school problems, family conflict or sexuality issues. For adults, it is often marital or financial problems. For people of any age, it may be the death of a loved one or unexpected catastrophes. It is not limited to negative events, either; marriage and pregnancy may result in adjustment disorder as well. 

Most stressful events cannot be prevented; how these affect people depends on their coping skills. Enough sleep, good nutrition, exercise and support from family and friends are all helpful. Stresses that disrupt the social network, such as the death of a loved one, may be very difficult to handle. 

Symptoms vary from person to person and include agitation, trembling and palpitations. They may resemble symptoms of depression with feelings of hopelessness and sadness, or symptoms of anxiety with worry and nervousness. Other types of adjustment disorders can include violence, impulsive behaviour, or social withdrawal.

Adjustment disorders may be classified as acute, lasting less than six months, or chronic, lasting longer. When symptoms persist longer than six months after the termination of the trigger, the diagnosis may change to a more serious mental health problem. Other mental health disorders should be ruled out before a diagnosis of adjustment disorder is made. 

One or more stressful life events may put you at risk of developing an adjustment disorder. It may involve almost any type of stressful event in your life. Both positive and negative events can cause extreme stress. Some common examples include:

·         Being diagnosed with a serious illness

·         Problems in school

·         Divorce or relationship breakup

·         Job loss

·         Having a baby

·         Financial problems

·         Physical assault

·         Surviving a disaster

·         Retirement

·         Death of a loved one

·         Going away to school

In some cases, people who face an ongoing stressful situation — such as living in a crime-ridden neighborhood — can reach a breaking point and develop an adjustment disorder. Your life experiences If you generally don't cope well with change or you don't have a strong support system, you may be more likely to have an extreme reaction to a stressful event.

Your risk of an adjustment disorder may be higher if you experienced stress in early childhood. Overprotective or abusive parenting, family disruptions, and frequent moves early in life may make you feel like you're unable to control events in your life. When difficulties then arise, you may have trouble coping.

Other risk factors may include:

·         Other mental health problems

·         Exposure to wars or violence


·         Difficult life circumstances

Adjustment disorders often respond well to treatment.

PSYCHOTHERAPY Talk therapy is the most effective method for dealing with adjustment disorders. Talking about the stressor that triggered symptoms helps the individual develop better coping skills.

• SUPPORT GROUPS Many groups are available for people who have suffered such stressors as bereavement, job loss and divorce.

• MEDICATION Anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications may be prescribed for a short time to relieve certain symptoms.


STRESS MANAGEMENT Biofeedback can be used to teach the mind to control body functions such as heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension. Progressive muscle relaxation can aid in relaxation and relieving stress. Massage therapy relieves muscle tension and stress. Yoga may help individuals handle stress more effectively. 

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