The main characteristics of adaptive disorder

During our life, people encounter various setbacks, obstacles or unforeseen events that force us to change our course or the direction we had taken, several times automatically.

When these types of surprises or unforeseen situations occur, it is up to us to adapt successfully to the new change and to use different strategies that we keep in our behavioral and cognitive repertoire.

However, some people show certain difficulties in coping with new situations that can be stressful, developing a series of emotional or behavioral symptoms when trying.

This phenomenon is known as “maladaptive disorder”.an alteration that can be linked to the appearance of other serious psychological pathologies and which currently constitutes a real public health problem for thousands of people in our country.

What is adjustment disorder?

Adaptive disorder can be defined more concretely as “a physiological response to stressful situations”. the person cannot cope normally and is related to the onset of emotional, cognitive, or behavioral symptoms clinically significant.

Symptoms associated with adaptive disorder usually appear within three months of the stressful event, which can be quite varied and affect different people in different ways.

These symptoms are linked to states of discomfort, anxiety or inner suffering that may or may not affect the personal or professional life of the person with said adaptive disorder in their daily life.

In the clinical field, it has been concluded that this disorder is resolved 6 months after the disappearance of the stressful stimulus; however, symptoms may persist over time, especially if associated with another disorder that may have developed, both anxiety type and chronic stress.

Characteristics of adaptive disorder

Adaptive disorder is one of the most common alterations that exist and occur in the life of anyone who faces a new and stressful event or an event that tests their mental health.

It is believed that this disorder it has a prevalence of between 2% and 8% in children, adolescents and the elderly belonging to the general population. In hospitalized people, it rises to 12% and in people who have suffered difficult or stressful life episodes, the prevalence is greater than 50%.

These events can be, as indicated, of various natures: changes of school in children and adolescents, personal or family accidents, loss of employment or problems in interpersonal relations such as the break-up of a couple.

There are certain hypotheses in which the adaptive disorder can progress to other mental health disordersas may be the case in children and adolescents who develop a major depressive disorder at the same time as an adaptive disorder.

It is obvious that when the person has other diseases or associated disorders, it ends up affecting their mental health even more and generates other serious disorders associated with depression, anxiety or generalized stress.

Types of Adjustment Disorders

Adaptive disorders can be classified in different ways, the most common being by the duration of the disorder or by the type of symptoms that predominate in it.

1. According to the duration of the adaptive disorder

The duration of adaptive disorder can last for a different time depending on the person it affects, and as has been stated, it does not affect all people in the same way.

According to this classification, adaptive disorder it can be acute (when it lasts less than six months), or chronic (when its duration is six months or more).

2. According to the type of symptoms that predominate in the adaptive disorder

Adaptive disorders can be of different nature according to their predominant symptoms, we present below the most frequent ones.

2.1. Adaptive Anxiety Disorder

It is eminently linked to the appearance of anxiety symptoms, such as tension, constant worry, stress, excessive agitation or sweating.

Anxiety can affect the correct and normal performance of the personwhether on a personal, interpersonal or professional level.

2.2. Adaptive disorder with depressed mood

Related to feelings of sadness, pain, constant crying, hopelessness or generalized pessimism. People with this type of disorder tend to isolate themselves socially and avoid participating in all sorts of situations that they previously enjoyed.

2.3. Mixed adaptive disorder

Mixed adaptive disorder combines symptoms related to anxiety and also depressed mood.

It is a fairly common disorder and can be successfully treated by a qualified psychological professional.

2.4. Adaptive disorder with behavioral disorder

They appear especially in children and adolescents who eventually develop difficulties in relating properly to their environment.

People who suffer from this type of adaptive disorder they tend to have difficulty respecting parental or teacher authority and exhibit impulsive or defiant behavior.

2.5. Adaptive disorder with mixed emotional and behavioral impairment

It is based on a combination of emotional symptoms linked to exacerbated discomfort and behavioral problems.

People with this disorder also his private life is affected at the interpersonal level, as well as his academic or professional work. It is also linked to the difficulty of relating to others and respecting authority.

2.6. Adaptive disorder not otherwise specified

The last of the adaptive disorders is not related to any of the classic psychological disorders. Likewise, their symptoms can be diverse and affect the person differently without following a specific pattern.

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