When Change is Hard: Adjustment Disorder

It’s really important for me to talk about a variety of health and mental health conditions in this blog. I want information to be in your hands as a patient so you can know when to talk with a professional and what to talk about. This is an overview of a mental health disorder: its meant to give you background info and start a discussion.

First of all – If you need help reach out…Send me an email healthyishcody@gmail.com I mean it – feel free to make me your point of contact if you’re struggling.

So lets say life has thrown you a curveball. Maybe you lost your job, maybe you moved into a new town, maybe you are ending a relationship or lets just say something major is changing. And we know – change is hard. So we medical providers expect that during these transitional periods you might experience some signs and symptoms that feel like depression.

In this period of change (usually 1-5 months) there might be loss of pleasure of daily activities, sleeping too much or not enough, and changes in diet, angry or sad mood. These are all normal responses to an abnormal life event; this is how adjustment disorder manifests.

Basically adjustment disorder is a short-lived depression, and treatment is talking with a therapist. Medication is not recommended for this short-term illness. If symptoms persist over 6 months then medication can be indicated and it would be classified as major depression, not just adjustment disorder.

There are 2 exceptions where adjustment disorder can actually be something a little more serious – that’s a new mom in her perinatal period and loss of a loved one – grief. In those cases medication is indicated a lot sooner. Again this is a brief overview but know that if you’re grieving a loved one or a new mom, medication can help you along with talking to a therapist.

I want to again invite anyone who is struggling to reach out to me, I can help find a medical provider or therapist that can really help you – healthyishcody@gmail.com
I also want to reiterate that Adjustment Disorder is a totally normal reaction to an abnormal life event. Its tough and it makes you feel awful but talking with a therapist can really help. If this sounds like you or a friend don’t hesitate to seek care. Talk with your primary care doctor about getting a referral for therapy.

And as always, talking about mental health concerns is crucial for overall health, on the individual level and on the larger population level. I want to remind everyone that mental health matters!!!

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