Adjustment Disorder With Anxiety
WHAT IS AN ADJUSTMENT DISORDER WITH ANXIETY?
Adjustment disorder with anxiety is a condition in which you continue to feel nervous, worried, or afraid after a stressful event. These symptoms can last from 3 to 6 months after the event.
We all have times in life when we get anxious. Financial problems, ending a relationship, being in a car accident, or losing a job are some of the things that can make anyone nervous or fearful for a while. A happy event like marriage or the birth of a child can also be stressful. Feeling some stress, worry, and fear is normal. However, if your symptoms continue for months, or are more severe than what most people usually have, then it is called an adjustment disorder.
WHAT IS THE CAUSE?
An adjustment disorders is a way of reacting to stress. Symptoms usually begin shortly after the stressful event.
If you have had problems with anxiety before, then you are more likely to have an adjustment disorder. Adjustment disorders are as common in men as women, and can develop at any age.
There are different types of adjustment disorders. For example, you might have problems with depression, or with both anxiety and depressed mood.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Symptoms may include:
· Feeling tense, jittery, and nervous
· Worrying more
· Wanting to run away or escape
· Feeling overwhelmed
· Having trouble sleeping
· Having a change in appetite
· Having trouble concentrating or remembering things
· Having sudden emotional reactions such as panic, guilt, or anger
HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?
Your primary healthcare provider or a mental health therapist can tell you if you have symptoms of an adjustment disorder. He or she will ask about your symptoms, any other medical problems and any drug or alcohol use. You may have some lab tests to rule out medical problems such as hormone imbalances or heart problems.
HOW IS IT TREATED?
Anxiety can be successfully treated with therapy, medicine, or both. Therapy or short-term use of medicine can be very helpful with an adjustment disorder.
Several types of medicines can help treat anxiety. Your primary healthcare provider will work with you to carefully select the best one for you.
Seeing a therapist can help. There are several kinds of therapy that can help a person with anxiety. Support groups are also very helpful.
Claims have been made that certain herbal and dietary products help control anxiety symptoms. No herb or dietary supplement has been proven to consistently or completely relieve anxiety. Supplements are not tested or standardized and may vary in strength and effects. They may have side effects and are not always safe.
Learning ways to relax may help. Yoga and meditation may also be helpful. You may want to talk with your primary healthcare provider about using these methods along with medicines and therapy.
HOW LONG WILL THE EFFECTS LAST?
Once the stressful event is gone, the symptoms of anxiety usually go away in a few weeks or months. Symptoms may last longer than 6 months. If symptoms go on longer than 6 months, you should see a therapist for evaluation.
HOW CAN I TAKE CARE OF MYSELF?
· Get support. Talk with family and friends. Consider joining a support group in your area.
· Learn to manage stress. Ask for help at home and work when the load is too great to handle. Find ways to relax, for example take up a hobby, listen to music, watch movies, or take walks. Try deep breathing exercises when you feel stressed.
· Take care of your physical health. Try to get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Eat a healthy diet. Limit caffeine. If you smoke, quit. Avoid alcohol and drugs, because they can make your symptoms worse. Exercise according to your primary healthcare provider’s instructions.
· Check your medicines. To help prevent problems, tell your primary healthcare provider and pharmacist about all the medicines, natural remedies, vitamins, and other supplements that you take.
· See your primary healthcare provider or therapist if you have any questions or your symptoms seem to be getting worse.
WHEN SHOULD I SEEK HELP?
Seek professional help for yourself or a loved one if the symptoms don’t go away after a few weeks, if the symptoms get worse, or if the symptoms keep you from being able to function as usual.
Get emergency care if you or a loved one has serious thoughts of suicide, violence, or harming others. Seek immediate help if you have severe chest pain or trouble breathing.