If you have symptoms of an adjustment disorder, make an appointment with your primary care doctor. While adjustment disorders resolve on their own in most cases, your doctor may be able to recommend coping strategies or treatments that help you feel better sooner.
What you can do
To prepare for your appointment, make a list of:
- Any symptoms you've been experiencing, and for how long
- Key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes, both positive and negative
- Medical information, including other physical or mental health conditions, and names and dosages of any medications or supplements you're taking
- Questions to ask your doctor so that you can make the most of your appointment
Ask a family member or friend to go with you to the appointment, if possible. Someone who accompanies you can help remember what the doctor says.
For adjustment disorder, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What do you think is causing my symptoms?
- Are there any other possible causes?
- How will you determine my diagnosis?
- Is my condition likely temporary or long term (chronic)?
- Do you recommend treatment? If yes, with what approach?
- How soon do you expect my symptoms to improve?
- Should I see a mental health specialist?
- Do you recommend any temporary changes at home, work or school to help me recover?
- Should people at my work or school be made aware of my diagnosis?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can have? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment anytime you don't understand something.
What to expect from your doctor
Be ready to answer your doctor's questions so you have time to focus on your priorities. Your doctor may ask:
April 02, 2014
- What are your symptoms?
- When did you or your loved ones first notice your symptoms?
- What major changes have recently occurred in your life, both positive and negative?
- Have you talked with friends or family about these changes?
- How often do you feel sad or depressed?
- Do you have thoughts of suicide?
- How often do you feel anxious or worried?
- Are you having trouble sleeping?
- Do you have difficulty finishing tasks at home, work or school that previously felt manageable to you?
- Are you avoiding social or family events?
- Have you been having any problems at school or work?
- Have you made any impulsive decisions or engaged in reckless behavior that doesn't seem like you?
- What other symptoms or behaviors are causing you or your loved ones distress?
- Do you drink alcohol or use illegal drugs? How often?
- Have you been treated for other psychiatric symptoms or mental illness in the past? If yes, what type of therapy was most helpful?
- 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.
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