What is Adjustment Disorder?

In light of recently beginning enrollment for one of our newest studies, Adjustment Disorder with Anxiety; we thought we’d share a little bit more with you about what an Adjustment Disorder (AjD) actually is.

Put simply, Ajd occurs when one experiences a significant amount of distress following a stressful life event. Although Ajd can look very similar to general anxiety or Generalized Anxiety Disorder, its distinction is that the distress and anxiety is caused by a preceding, and stressful event in one’s life.

Symptoms of Adjustment Disorder:

Adjustment disorder can come with a variety of symptoms. Common symptoms can include feelings of anxiety, sadness, overwhelm, social isolation, loss of motivation, loss of appetite, sleeping difficulties, loss of concentration or focus, and others. However, one might experience different symptoms depending on which type of Adjustment Disorder they have.

Types of Adjustment Disorder:

Although AjD sounds clear-cut, there are actually multiple forms it can come in. These include:

  • Ajd with anxiety, which is what our study focuses on.
  • Ajd with depressed mood
  • Ajd with mixed anxiety and depressed mood
  • Ajd with disturbance of conduct
  • Ajd with mixed disturbance of emotions and conduct
  • Ajd disorder unspecified.

How to Help Someone Struggling with Adjustment Disorder:

Adjustment Disorder, like any other mental health condition can be a difficult one to navigate alone. As always, the support of others is a key part in helping someone who might be struggling with AjD.

Some ways you can help someone with AjD include:

  • Don’t judge: Individuals with AjD have different reactions to stressful life events than others might. Everyone responds to things differently, especially when it comes to stress or adversity.
  • Listen: Sometimes individuals with AjD want nothing more than for someone to hear their experiences and what they’re going through. It can be hard to process on their own and having someone to just listen can be immensely helpful.
  • Ask What They Need: If you aren’t sure how to best support someone who might be struggling with AjD, it’s okay to ask how you can best help them and show you care. Everyone needs different things.
  • Assist Them in Finding Help: Seeking professional help, especially when it comes to mental health can be very difficult due to the stigma attached to it. Sometimes it can help to have someone support you through the process.

About Our Study:

Our study, Adjustment Disorder with Anxiety is currently enrolling individuals showing signs of AjD with anxiety after a stressful event. This study is for individuals who are 18 years of age and older. Study visits are conducted at our Media, PA location; and consists of 7 office visits. For more information about our study, or to see if you’re eligible, visit the study page on our website to learn more and apply, or call our office at 610-891-7200 for more information.


Cleveland Clinic

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