Ways to Cope with an Adjustment Disorder

Have you or has someone you know recently gone through a breakup? Experienced a parent’s divorce? Endured stress from school or a death of a loved? Coping after an event like this can be hard and for some, this takes longer than expected. This is known as an adjustment disorder, and here are some ways to cope with it.

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Seek Help from a Mental Health Professional

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If you are experiencing symptoms of an adjustment disorder, it’s important to get proper support. A mental health professional will be able to give you an appropriate diagnosis and help you to choose the best treatment option for you.

Identify the Stressor

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An adjustment disorder results from a specific life event and a resulting inability to cope. Examples can include your parents getting divorced, a death of a loved one, the end of a relationship or significant school stress. The first step towards healing is to identify what this stressor was in your life. If you are unable to pinpoint it, with or without the help of a mental health professional, there might be other mental health conditions to consider.


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A mental health professional will likely refer you to a therapist. There are many different types of therapy available to you including group therapy, family therapy and individual therapy. Because an adjustment disorder typically doesn’t last for longer than six months, the goals you set with a therapist will be relatively short term ones and you will be equipped with various relaxation techniques and coping mechanisms.

What About Medication?

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Sometimes, for a mental health condition, medication is prescribed to help alleviate symptoms. Currently, this is not the default for an adjustment disorder as it can usually be helped with therapy. Medication might be prescribed if the adjustment disorder coexists with another mental health condition.

Self Help

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Oftentimes, support is the most key ingredient in a person’s recovery from an adjustment disorder. As such, it’s helpful to build yourself a support network whether it’s with family, friends or with a support group with similar experiences. You can also try relaxation techniques to alleviate anxiety, find ways to ensure you’re expressing your feelings well and maintain a healthy diet, exercise routine and sleeping schedule. There are many ways to get healing and treatment for an adjustment disorder, it’s simply starts with asking for help.

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