• Anisha Dasari

Adjusting to Adjustment Disorders

Adjustment disorders are stress-related conditions. They can make you experience more stress and anxiety than expected during a stressful event or dilemma. This can cause significant problems in your relationships, at school, or at work.

Several different reasons can contribute to feeling depressed or anxious - work problems, change in environment, going away to school, an illness, or even the death of a loved one. Genetics, your personal life experiences, and your temperament can also aid in increasing the likelihood of developing an adjustment disorder. Many adolescents deal with adjustment disorders every day, and the leading cause of this is leaving home for college.

Going away to college can be a difficult time in any young adult's life. Adjusting to a new school, living in a new environment, making new friends, and being away from home is extremely challenging. It can be overwhelming to deal with so many changes, especially when they're being thrown at you all at the same time. Many college students can handle this adjustment well-- although they still may face some challenges-- and flourish. However, some students can find that everything is just too much. A significant stressor such as a bad break up, fight between friends, change of major, new job, or a new housing situation, can cause significant distress and strain on their mental health. This can result in them developing an adjustment disorder.

Adjustment disorders affect their image of themselves and others around them. They may also affect their actions and/or behavior towards their outlook on life. Some include:

  • Feeling sad, hopeless, or not enjoying things they used to enjoy.

  • Worrying or feeling anxious, nervous, jittery, or stressed out.

  • Facing difficulty in concentrating.

  • Withdrawing from social support.

  • Feeling overwhelmed.

  • Difficulty functioning in daily activities.

  • Avoiding important things such as going to work or paying bills.

  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior.

If you or anyone you know are facing these hardships don't hesitate to reach out. You don't have to ‘tough it out’ on your own. Just talking to someone can help a great deal. Psychotherapy and meditation are also great ways to cope with the disorder.

While there are no sure-fire ways to prevent an adjustment disorder, developing a healthy lifestyle can help you in your times of stress. If an upcoming stressful situation is getting you anxious, gather all the support you can. Remind yourself that you are not alone, and you will get through it.

Remember, it’s okay to not feel okay.




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