Adjustment Disorder

Overview of Condition

An adjustment disorder is a short-term illness in which the individual finds it very difficult to cope with a particular source of stress, such as a significant change in life circumstances.  Adjustment disorders are common among caregivers because they are often required to suddenly take on new and sometimes overwhelming responsibilities.


What Is Adjustment Disorder?

Adjustment disorder is a condition where multiple symptoms start to appear in a person. These symptoms are listed below and usually occur after a traumatic event. Physical symptoms can manifest as well as this occurs.

Signs/Symptoms

The symptoms of Adjustment Disorder include the following:

  • Hopelessness
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety, fear or worry
  • Avoiding others (including family and friends)
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulties doing normal tasks (school, job, paying bills)
  • Treatment Options

Treatment Options

Psychological therapy is the recommended treatment for an adjustment disorder to support symptom relief and behavior change.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT, is a talking therapy that can help patients manage their illness problems by changing the way they think and behave. It is most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but has also shown efficacy in treating PTSD.

Adjustment Disorder Caregiver: Caring for someone with Adjustment Disorder

It is often the parents and step-parents who are the primary caregivers, and they spend most of their time tending to the medical needs of their loved one.

But being a caregiver can be very stressful and burdensome. It often leaves the caregiver with little or no time to tend to his/her own needs.  Approximately 63% of caregivers admit not having enough time for themselves, and 55% admit that they don't have time to manage their own health. Routine visits to the doctor are essential to ask for advice and assistance with caregiving, especially since caregiving is known to have mental health consequences for the caregiver, including the increased likelihood of depression, insomnia, and anxiety.

Key Facts

Adjustment disorders can occur at any age for anyone, regardless of gender, race, or circumstance. As adjustment disorder is a short-term illness; most people can recover with the right input and support.

There are six main types of adjustment disorders
  1. Adjustment disorder with depressed mood
  2. Adjustment disorder with anxiety
  3. Adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood
  4. Adjustment disorder with disturbance of conduct
  5. Adjustment disorder with mixed disturbance of emotions and conduct
  6. Unspecified adjustment disorder (does not fit under other sub-types)


MyHealios is the proud recipient of the 2016 National Council Award of Excellence:

"Engaging Family Caregivers in Team-Based Care"