28 Mar, 24

How to Provide Support for Someone with Adjustment Disorder


People who have to go through mental illnesses often fight a silent battle against their own demons. People who associate with them do not often understand the depth of agony these individuals go through. Adjustment disorder is becoming more and more common in our everyday lives, so it is the right time to gain some insight into what it is and how to provide support for someone with adjustment disorder.

What is Adjustment Disorder?

Adjustment Disorder is a mental illness that is caused by major stresses in life. It can show up as sadness, anxiety, or anger in the form of emotional or behavioral signs. Usually, these symptoms show up three months after the stressor and make daily tasks very hard. Psychotherapy, especially cognitive-behavioral therapy, and medicine, if needed, are common parts of treatment to help people deal with stress better and learn better ways to deal with things that stress them out. Most people can get better and go back to their normal lives with the right help, but if you don't treat Adjustment Disorder, it could lead to more serious mental health problems. So, getting professional help is very important for managing things well and getting better.

What Are The Symptoms of Adjustment Disorder?

Adjustment disorder is a psychological condition characterized by emotional or behavioral symptoms that occur as a response to a stressor or a life change. Symptoms of adjustment disorder can vary widely depending on the individual and the nature of the stressor, but some common symptoms include:


People with adjustment disorders may feel unhappy, lost, and hopeless all the time. These emotions may cause frequent sobbing or sadness. People may feel stressed and joyless and struggle to appreciate things they used to. Sleeplessness and oversleeping are widespread and worsen weariness and sluggishness. People with concentration issues struggle at job and school.


Adjustment disorder sufferers may feel worried, tense, or that unpleasant things may happen. This disorder can make people restless and on edge even in safe situations. These mental states may cause stiff muscles, shaking, or sweating. People with fear may avoid things to calm down. This might make people isolate or have problems accomplishing daily tasks. You may require cognitive-behavioral therapy to manage your concerns and bad behaviors if you worry a lot.


Getting acclimated to large changes or stress might make you irritable or sensitive. Small pressures may easily irritate, aggravate, or anger people. Easy-annoyed people may think others are excessively sensitive or nasty, making it hard to get along with them. Anger may sometimes make someone feel guilty or humiliated because they may regret their words or actions.

Difficulty Concentrating

Cognitive issues including attention and decision-making are common in adjustment disorder. People may struggle to focus on work, school, or home duties, which can lower productivity and performance. People may feel frozen or overwhelmed while making a decision because they fear making the wrong one or the consequences. This mental fogging can worsen stress and anxiety, resulting in poor performance. People with focus issues should be nice to themselves and seek mental health care. Cognitive restructuring and mindfulness can enhance mental health in treatment.

Changes in Appetite

Adjustment disorders can alter eating habits, causing significant hunger and weight fluctuations. People who lose their hunger may lose weight and not acquire adequate nutrition. Others may eat to feel better, which makes them hungry and heavier.

Changes in Sleep Patterns

Adjustment disorder can cause insomnia or oversleeping. Some people have problems falling asleep, remaining asleep, or waking up refreshed. Poor sleep can leave you lethargic, angry, and unable to focus during the day. Sleep problems can also make it tougher to manage stress and emotions. Sleep-deprived people must prioritize sleep hygiene.

Feeling Overwhelmed

Adjusting to major life changes or stress can leave people unable to do daily duties. Once-doable tasks may suddenly appear unattainable. Being too much might make you feel helpless or defeated, worsening tension and anxiety.

How to Provide Support for Someone with Adjustment Disorder?

Supporting someone with adjustment disorder involves offering understanding, empathy, and practical assistance. Here are some ways to provide support:

Educate Yourself

Learn about adjustment disorder, including how stresses cause it and its many symptoms, including emotional and behavioral changes. Understanding the condition's intricacies allows you to provide educated assistance and empathy, acknowledging their problems as appropriate responses to major life upheavals.

Listen Actively

Active listening requires complete attention, eye contact, and nonverbal clues that show empathy and comprehension. Make it safe for the adjustment disorder patient to talk without interruption or judgment. Reflective listening shows you understand and affirm their feelings by paraphrasing and summarizing. Instead of giving counsel, empathize with their difficulties and reassure them they're not alone.

Encourage Professional Help

While support is important, understand your role's limitations and encourage them to seek expert help. Recommend adjustment disorder therapy from a competent mental health practitioner. Help them choose a therapist based on specialty, geography, and insurance. If they are nervous about seeking treatment alone, accompanying them might give emotional support and encouragement.

Offer Practical Support

Life transitions can be daunting, so helping them can reduce stress. Offer to aid with difficult duties or obligations. Your assistance with errands, cooking, and cleaning can relieve their burden. Consider their needs and give support before they ask. Work with them to build a daily self-care and balancing regimen. You show your concern for their well-being and build your relationship by assisting. Check in with them often to determine if they need more help or if their needs have changed.

Encourage Self-Care

Adjustment disorder symptoms and well-being depend on self-care. Encourage the individual to emphasize mind, body, and spirit-nourishing self-care. This may include regular exercise, sleep, a balanced diet, and relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing. Encourage them to spend time on things they like, like reading, music, or nature.

Provide Social Support

Adjustment disorder sufferers need friends, family, and supportive peers. Help them organize casual social events. Remind them to share their sentiments with trustworthy confidants who can empathize and validate. Organise group trips or events where they may enjoy themselves and feel connected. Join talks and activities that improve their moods and encourage good relationships in their social network.

Promote Healthy Coping Strategies

Adjustment disorder requires good stress management and emotional processing. Encourage the person to try journaling, artistic expression, or relaxing pastimes. Encourage them to practice mindfulness practices like meditation or yoga to stay present and reduce anxiety. Help them identify symptom causes and develop proactive management techniques.

Avoid Enabling

While support is necessary, it's also critical to avoid promoting negative behaviors or habits that may worsen adjustment disorder symptoms. Encourage independence and self-reliance by letting individuals own their rehabilitation and make good adjustments. Maintain appropriate boundaries to safeguard your well-being while providing support and direction when required.

Monitor Progress

Encourage and assist them as they manage adjustment disorder symptoms. Celebrate even tiny triumphs and milestones as they indicate healing progress. Contact them often to assess their mood and any obstacles. If they request help, provide it. Watch for increasing symptoms or mental health decline and encourage them to get help.

Be Patient and Understanding

Adjustment disorder recovery takes time and assistance. Accept that mending takes time and setbacks are normal. Instead of setting unreasonable goals or timetables, be a constant source of support and comfort. Accept their sentiments and experiences, even if you don't understand them, and encourage them to get treatment and take things slowly. If you feel like you need an extra hand in figuring out the best way to help someone with adjustment disorder, then Zivanza can help you out.


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