An Adjustment Disorder (AD) occurs when a child or teenager finds it difficult to adjust or cope with major stressors and life events.
While children and teenagers all have different ways to adapt to particular stressors, each individual has a different level of vulnerability; some will be more resilient than others.
Since people with this disorder normally have similar symptoms to those with depression (such as general loss of interest, feelings of hopelessness and crying), this disorder is also known as Situational Depression.
Adjustment Disorder is associated with a higher risk of suicide or suicidal behaviours.
Triggers for Adjustment Disorder
events for an Adjustment Disorder could include:
- Parents’ divorce;
- Birth of a sibling;
- Death in the family;
- Moving house;
- Moving to a new country;
- Changing school;
- School failure;
- Break up with boyfriend/girlfriend;
- Sexuality issues.
Although the symptoms can be very similar to depression, the reaction/signs must occur within three months of the identified stressor or change. Some of the signs and symptoms of Adjustment Disorder are:
- Depressed mood;
- Trouble sleeping;
- Difficulty concentrating;
- Crying spells;
- Avoiding school;
- Becoming isolated;
- Conduct disorder;
- Thoughts of suicide.
Symptoms may vary widely between individuals.
If your child is having difficulties to cope with a major life event, you can give them the support they need by making an appointment with a psychologist experienced in working with children.
Author: Meggy Delaunay, PG Dip Psych Practice, PG Dip Dev Psych, M Genetic Psych, B Psych, MAPS.
Meggy Delaunay is a psychologist who primarily works with children, adolescents and young adults. She is a registered Psychologist in Australia, New Zealand and France, and can provide therapy sessions in English and French.
To make an appointment try Online Booking. Alternatively, you can call Vision Psychology Brisbane on (07) 3088 5422.