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Life Adjustment Struggles

Some people react to a major stressor in their lives with extended and excessive feelings of anxiety, depressed mood, or behavioral difficulties.  These symptoms do not quite add up to an anxiety disorder or a mood disorder, but they do cause considerable distress or interfere with a person’s life.  When an identifiable life stressor causes a person to manifest difficulties either mentally, emotionally or behaviorally in response to it, psychologists consider their condition an Adjustment Disorder.

Almost any kind of stressor may trigger an adjustment disorder.  Common ones are the breakup of a relationship, marital problems, and business difficulties. Up to 30 percent of all people in outpatient therapy receive this diagnosis.  It accounts for far more treatment claims submitted to insurance companies than any other (APA, 2000).