According to Mayo Clinic staff, (2009), the definition of an adjustment disorder is a type of stress-related mental illness. Common triggers can be work problems, divorce, getting married, loss of a loved one and the list could go on. The difference between someone experiencing the same stressors and someone with an adjustment disorder is that those with the disorder have a harder time adjusting to life changes. People with the adjustment disorder may skip work or school, forget to pay bills, pick fights, abuse drugs or alcohol, or experience suicidal ideation. In comparison to others who are, adapt at mobilizing effective coping techniques. The bright side to having an adjustment disorder is that it is self -limiting with symptoms only lasting a few months.
In contrast, Mayo Clinic staff, (2010), writes that a tantrum is the expression of a child’s frustration with mental or emotional challenges of the moment. A child’s tantrum can be characterized as kicking, supersonic screaming, flailing uncontrollably on the floor, hitting, and breath holding. These characteristics represent a child’s lack of coping skills and such episodes tend to decrease as the child ages and gains more effective means to express his or her needs. Similarly, adults with adjustment disorder do not have effective coping mechanisms to handle negative life changes that occur outside of their control. Adjustment disorder suffers may require psychotherapy to explore more effective means of coping with life changes. In addition, unlike children, adults may have destructive means of coping at their disposal and, therefore, signs of an adjustment disorder should not be taken lightly.
More importantly, if you or a loved one is suffering from signs of an adjustment disorder, please seek medical attention as the symptoms may lead to suicidal ideation. This blog was written for entertainment purposes only and is not to be used as a diagnostic tool.
· Mayo Clinic Staff, . (2009). Adjustment disorders. MayoClinic.com. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/adjustment-disorders/DS00584
· Mayo Clinic Staff, . (2010). Temper tantrums: how to keep the peace. MayoClinic.com. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/tantrum/HQ01622