Adjustment Disorder: What to Look For

If a child experienced a stressful event and hasn’t been the same since then, he may have adjustment disorder. Signs include that that he is abnormally anxious or depressed, has trouble sleeping, or experiences regular crying spells. Other signs include avoiding school, being isolated from family and friends, irritability, vandalism, and fighting. Common stressful events that trigger adjustment disorders include divorce, moving to a new home, or starting a new school, breaking up with a romantic partner, or, for a perfectionist student, doing poorly in school. In particular, be on the lookout for a reaction that lasts much longer than you would usually expect and significantly interferes with daily life.