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Therapy for When It’s Hard to Adjust

Westside Behavioral Care / Counseling and Therapy  / Therapy for When It’s Hard to Adjust
Therapy for When It’s Hard to Adjust

Therapy for Managing Stress and Trauma: Adjustment Disorder

Many times, people have trouble adjusting to a difficult or stressful event such as the loss of a loved one or a natural disaster such as a storm or flood, or a violation of their individual rights. These events would cause almost anyone to be upset. Over time, most people heal, and eventually learn to adjust to the new situation. However, some people do not recover in a normal amount of time, and continue to experience symptoms resulting from the stressful event. This condition is referred to as “adjustment disorder.”

People suffering from adjustment disorder may be especially anxious, stressed, frustrated or depressed following a traumatic event. Their reactions to daily experiences that remind them of their past can interfere with the lives, including their social lives, their schoolwork, or their jobs.

The symptoms of adjustment disorder typically show up within three months of the event and can last indefinitely unless the individual receives help and support. If left untreated, adjustment disorder can progress to other, more severe psychological issues or disorders.

Unfortunately, some people suffering from adjustment disorder turn to drugs to alleviate their psychological pain. This occurs in in a minority of instances but can lead to long-term negative consequences.

If left untreated, adjustment disorder can progress to other, more severe psychological issues or disorders. So it is important to find a solution to enable the person to develop coping skills and overcome the challenges associated with adjustment disorder.

Diagnosis and Treatment

In most cases, diagnosis is established by a therapist who evaluates the individual’s emotional symptoms. These include anxiety, inability to move on, depression, insomnia, withdrawal from normal social activities, and grieving that does not move through the normal stages.

A number of options are available to help the healing process and allow the individual to lead a rewarding and productive life. In the short term, medication may help a person through some of the acute symptoms so that they can regain the normal rhythms of life. However, in the long term, it is better to understand and resolve the issues that are causing the symptoms.

Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an excellent choice for adjustment disorder. The treatment focuses on relieving the symptoms and helping the patient get on with his or her normal life. According to the Mayo Clinic:

[CBT] can quickly help you identify and cope with specific challenges. It generally requires fewer sessions than other types of therapy and is done in a structured way.. CBT helps you become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking so you can view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them in a more effective way…

Unlike other types of therapy, CBT is designed to take place through a limited number of sessions, and is done in a structured way. CBT helps the individual understand his or her condition and to learn techniques to manage the thoughts and feelings associated with their issues.

CBT uses the individual’s own skills for thinking through situations, and helps them develop new ways of processing information. It helps traumatized people manage the way they look at a situation and respond to it. Finally, it strengthens the individual’s ability to gain awareness of how he or she is responding to various situations, and provides constructive alternatives to patterns of thinking that inhibit healing and growth.

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