Coping mechanism helps in dealing with adjustment disorders

Coping mechanism helps in dealing with adjustment disorders

An adjustment disorder (AD) occurs when an individual is unable to adjust to or cope with a particular stress, say experts



Adjustment disorder is a group of symptoms, such as stress, feeling sad or hopeless, and physical symptoms that can occur after you go through a stressful life event.



According to Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine the paper presented by Dr Bichitra Nanda Patra, Department of Psychiatry, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, Haryana and Punjab states, “It is a state of subjective distress and emotional disturbance, which arises during the course of adapting to stresses of significant life changes, stressful life events, serious physical illness, or possibility of serious illness. Stress is ubiquitous and a person learns to deal with stress over time. However, when coping mechanisms fail to ameliorate stress effectively, adjustment disorder is precipitated.”



“In both psychiatric and general medical setting, the diagnosis of adjustment disorder is a useful clinical construct, especially when patients are faced with considerable physical and psychological stresses,” Dr Nanda adds.



Adjustment disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis that falls between normal behavior and the major psychiatric disorders. “As human begins we have a set of mental skills that help us to adopt and change with circumstance. However, due to rapid changes happening all around we may not be equipped to deal with them all. And every time we adopt to cope with a sudden change it leaves a lasting impact on mind and this further effect the person’s ability to change to future sudden changes in life. Repeated adjustments made in life has a lasting impact on ones mind and gradually loose self confidence,” explains Dr I. Bharat Reddy, Consultant Psychiatry,  Apollo Hospitals.



Signs to look for



Abnormally anxious or depressed, has trouble sleeping, or experiences regular crying spells. Other signs include avoiding school, being isolated from family and friends, irritability, vandalism, and fighting. Common stressful events that trigger adjustment disorders include divorce, moving to a new home, or starting a new school, breaking up with a romantic partner, or, for a perfectionist student, doing poorly in school.



“Adjustment to changed physical, mental a social consider of any person is natural response which helps in survival. When this adjustment does not happen in some cases or happens in an insufficient manner, then a person has problems with living a normal life. Chances of dependence increase; person has psychological problems like depression, mood upheavals, social withdrawal etc. They can have permanent impact on a person life,” says Dr Deepika Sirineni, Consultant Neurologist, Apollo Hospitals.



Teenagers with untreated adjustment disorder are at a heightened risk for developing depression, chronic anxiety, and substance abuse problems. Baijesh Ramesh, Clinical Psychologist explains, “Adolescence is a time period characterized by numerous social and emotional challenges and is a highly-charged developmental period. Hence, it is imperative to understand that when sudden life changes occur, they may cope with it differently than young children or adults. They are likely to exhibit behaviours and emotions disparate, that even parents may find unacceptable. It may not be easy to cope with these changes but they play a crucial role in strengthening coping skills of an individual, preparing one to face future challenges. It is absolutely normal to feel confused and disoriented when sudden life changes take place. The reality is life is not a straight line and it involves pain. Changes are unavoidable and so is stress. Although we can’t avoid such changes and stress, we can learn to handle it much better, to rise above it and create a life worth living.”