When you face a stressful event or major life change, take steps to care for your emotional well-being. Talking about your feelings and asking for help is important to aid your recovery from adjustment disorder.
Do what works for you. For example:
- Talk things over with caring family and friends
- Try to keep eating a healthy diet
- Stick to a regular sleep routine
- Get regular physical activity
- Engage in a hobby you enjoy
- Find a support group geared toward your situation
- Find support from a faith community
If it's your child who's having difficulty adjusting, try gently encouraging him or her to talk about feelings. Many parents assume that talking about a difficult change, such as divorce, will make a child feel worse. But your child needs the opportunity to express feelings of grief and to hear your reassurance that you'll remain a constant source of love and support. Take these steps to help:
- Offer support and understanding
- Reassure your child that such reactions are common
- Ask your child's teacher to check on progress or problems at school
- Let your child make simple decisions, such as what to eat for dinner or which movie to watch
If you use these kinds of self-care steps but they don't seem to be helping, talk with your doctor for advice.
April 02, 2014
- Adjustment disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed Oct. 20, 2013.
- Hales RE, et al. The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychiatry. 5th ed. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2008. http://www.psychiatryonline.com/resourceToc.aspx?resourceID=5. Accessed Oct. 20, 2013.
- Casey P. Adjustment disorder: Epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment. CNS Drugs. 2009;23:927. Accessed Oct. 20, 2013.
- Strain J, et al. Considering adjustment disorders as stress response syndromes for DSM-5. Depression and Anxiety. 2011;28:818. Accessed Oct. 20, 2013.
- Hall-Flavin DK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 30, 2013.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ Accessed Oct. 24, 2013.
- Kung S (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 30, 2013.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.