Adjustment Disorder

Adjustment disorder in kids

Life Is Full of Change, But Change Can Still Be Hard

Adjustment Disorder is an intense reaction to stressful change that can bring about changes in mood such as disturbance of conduct, anxiety, depression or a mixture of all of the above. For example, a teenager coming to counseling to seek support after their parents divorced. Adjustment disorders diagnoses can show up in different ways for the individuals experiencing them. A teenager may start struggling with dropping grades in school, or somatic symptoms due to anxiety such as stomach aches or headaches. That teenager would receive a diagnosis of adjustment disorder with a specifier of anxiety. Meanwhile, their sibling experiencing the same difficult life transition may start withdrawing from friends and fighting classmates, which would result in a slightly different diagnosis of adjustment disorder with disturbance of conduct and mixed mood.

Adjusting To Change With Adaptability & Grace

Treatment for this diagnosis would include CBT geared towards children to help them better identify and manage stress. Common emotions expressed by these clients include feelings of lack of control and wishful thinking for things to change. Adjustment disorder therapy helps the child learn how to build a solid support system and effectively communicate their emotions. Teaching them healthy coping mechanisms for anger and impulse control will benefit them not only for the specific situation they’re having trouble adjusting to, but for all of their life to follow.

Treatments can include family therapy, expressive arts therapy, and psychotherapy. If you’re ready to get your child professional help from Ohio based specialists, reach out to UMatter Counseling today.

Difficulties to adjusting to life changes while in school can result in dropping grades & worsening classroom behavior.

Emotional tension can result in getting into more fights and arguments.

May illustrate social withdrawal from friends, family, and previously enjoyed activities or hobbies.

Physical manifestations of increased stress from failure to fully adjust can include stomach and headaches.

Struggles to communicate authentic feelings can result in enduring resentment and internal anger.

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