Adjustment disorder is caused by stress or changes in a person's life. Genes and past stressful events may also play a role.
Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
- Current or past history of other mental health problems, such as posttraumatic stress disorder
- Problems within a person's family
- Having a poor support system
- Major life changes and stress in childhood
Any stressful event can lead to an adjustment disorder. Some examples are:
- School challenges
- Loss of work or retirement
- Death of loved ones
- Major life change, such as marriage, divorce, baby, or moving
- Being in the military or going to war
- Natural or other widespread disasters
Adjustment disorder starts within 3 months of the event. It can last up to 6 months or more after the stress is gone. Problems can vary but may be:
- Feeling sad and hopeless
- Loss of motivation and self-esteem
- Having a hard time finding pleasure in things that the person used to enjoy
- Frequent crying
- Feel overwhelmed easily
- Excess worry
- Feeling that nothing will work out well
- Bursts of anger
- Drug or alcohol misuse
- Fighting or seeking revenge
- Problems with relationships, school, or work
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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