Adjustment Disorder: Treatment

Adjustment disorder is primarily treated with psychotherapy, although in some cases medication may also be prescribed to alleviate symptoms.

Psychotherapeutic: Talk therapy is extremely effective in treating adjustment disorder. A therapist might encourage the patient to express emotions in a supportive environment and in a constructive fashion, or suggest that a typical reaction to stress has gotten out of hand but is within his power to control. Another goal of the therapy is to teach him healthier ways of dealing with future stressful situations. Since adjustment disorders often affect the whole family, some sessions might include the parents or other caregivers. Group therapy can also be helpful. A few sessions are usually sufficient for treatment, though occasionally it might take months.

Pharmacological: A doctor may prescribe low doses of anti-anxiety or even neuroleptic medication to help with anxiety and behavior problems. Antidepressants may also be prescribed to treat depressive or suicidal thoughts. In most cases pharmacological treatment is short-lived.