Treating Adolescent Adjustment Disorders
An adjustment disorder is considered an unhealthy or excessive emotional or behavioral response within three months of a stressful event or life change. An adjustment disorder significantly interferes with a teens social or education functioning and can manifest as a behavioral disorder such as acting out, a depressive mood change, or with an increase in anxiety. Stressful events that trigger such a disorder may include a family divorce or separation, the birth of a new sibling, or a family move. Adjustment disorders are common in adolescents and occur equally in both males and females.
Symptoms of an Adjustment Disorder
An adjustment disorder can manifest in behavior, such as acting out, a depressive mood change, or with anxiety. Additionally, there can be cross-over in the manifestation, such as an adjustment disorder with anxiety and depressed mood. An adjustment disorder with disturbance of conduct generally involves deviation from social behavior norms including truancy, fighting, violence, or reckless behavior. Depressed moods usually accompany tears and feelings of hopelessness while anxiety may accompany jitteriness or fear of separation.
Prevention & Treatment
As Stanford Children’s Health notes, there are no known preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of a child developing an adjustment disorder. However, early detection and intervention can reduce the severity of symptoms, enhance the adolescent’s normal growth and development, and improve the quality of life experienced by children or adolescents with adjustment disorders.
At JADE, our treatment includes individual psychotherapy, family therapy, and peer group therapy. Our comprehensive list of our clinical interventions and treatments can be found here.
If you think your child may have an adjustment disorder, early intervention is the best path forward. Contact us today about a consultation.
Being a teen can be tough. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to an adult who isn’t your parent. Learn more about how we can help, and hear from other teens who may be facing similar challenges. LEARN MORE
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