How can you tell whether your responses to stress are typical or indicative of an adjustment disorder? Do you handle change well, or does any change in your life hurt your emotions? Understanding adjustment disorders and receiving treatment require first recognizing the signs of this ailment, also known as stress response syndrome.
The prehistoric environment of the earliest humans was very dissimilar from modern society. These animals had to adapt to a wide range of diverse settings to survive. They were in grave danger from both wild creatures and environmental concerns.
Fortunately, as their brains changed, they automatically evolved a survival instinct. Their brains signaled to their endocrine system to release hormones into the bloodstream when they sensed a threat. Cortisol and adrenaline gave them momentary energy so they could defend themselves or flee.
People still possess this innate desire for survival today. However, stress triggers a threat response in your brain, which might keep you in survival mode. Chronic stress can hurt both your mind and body, according to a Mayo Clinic report.
Learning about adjustment disorder (Stress Response Syndrome)
If you suffer from adjustment disorder or stress response syndrome, this may be another factor contributing to your overactive survival instinct. According to a Cleveland Clinic website, it’s an exaggerated response to a stressful or distressing incident. Ironically, this overreaction can result from either positive or bad developments.
It’s typically a transient condition brought on by intense stress. The stresses can be a single occurrence or a string of related ones. Between two and eight percent of people are affected.
15 Behavioral Signs of Adjustment Disorder or Stress Response Syndrome
Has anyone ever told you that you overreact? Perhaps you can remember a significant event that triggered this condition. These are the fifteen primary behaviors someone with adjustment disorder (stress response syndrome) often displays.
- A Strong Resistance to Change Is a Feature of Someone With an Adjustment Disorder
Change is never pleasant, and most people will do their best to avoid it. Growth resistance frequently has two main causes: loss of control and fear of the unknown. Those with sufficient coping mechanisms learn to adjust to and embrace life’s changes.
However, those who suffer from stress response syndrome frequently have increased resistance. When you stay within the boundaries of the status quo, you feel secure and at ease. Even the smallest change in routine can cause intense anxiety and emotional distress.
- They make an effort to cling to the past
Have you ever encountered someone whose body is in the here and now but whose mind and life are held captive by the past? They idealize their past, even when it is marred by disappointment, failure, or pain. When you have an adjustment disorder, you could run from the present by retreating into the past.
Many people tend to turn to the past for solace because they find it difficult to deal with the present. Hiding from the position you are in is useless, much like an ostrich burying its head in the sand. Thoughts of the past may momentarily lessen your stress, but they will always be there.
- An individual with adjustment disorder is constantly afraid of the worst-case scenario
Pessimistic people frequently tend to overreact to change. You can decide to assume the worst-case scenario rather than hoping for the best. You’ll be presently surprised if your efforts provide positive outcomes. You may believe that accepting unfavorable results will protect you from shock and disappointment.
- They frequently alter and revise memories.
When you reflect on past occurrences, pay attention to yourself. Are you a trustworthy self-historian, or do you alter your recollections to make them more accurate? Trauma may have caused you to acquire a disorder that resists change.
Unpleasant memories may also be blocked or erased as a result of this stress reaction syndrome. To avoid having to acknowledge the truth, you present a fictional account that is all sunshine and roses. Your ability to recover from previous traumas could be hindered by this disease.
- They Fail to Overcome Irrational Fears
It makes sense that you would deal with fear later in life if you had survived a horrific event just barely. Phobias and irrational fears are additional typical signs of adjustment disorder. You can overreact and enter a panicked state because of the small fights.
- Adjustment disorders can cause reckless impulsivity.
Numerous symptoms that overcompensate for safety are frequently present with stress response syndrome. However, you can become more impulsive than usual as a result of the stress. You can start exhibiting impulsive actions and having drug usage issues for the first time.
- Emotional Instability Is Also Caused by Stress Response Syndrome
You may have seen that you have trouble separating your emotions. If you battle with challenges related to adjustment disorder, your sentiments will be dispersed all over the place. Extreme dread, rage, and melancholy can result from overreacting to stress.
- They might experience social isolation
People who have trouble handling stress frequently feel safer when they are by themselves. Staying in your comfortable surroundings has a certain calming effect. Nobody has the right to make you feel uncomfortable by judging you or doing anything else.
Such a mindset might make you withdraw from your immediate relatives and acquaintances. You might soon acquire agoraphobia and be unable to leave your house without experiencing acute terror. Isolation from society makes dread, despair, and anxiety worse.
- They Observe More Pains, Aches, and Health Problems
The survival instinct in the human body was only intended to be a transient response. When stress hormones are present in your system all the time instead of just when you need them, they can pose a health risk. It can result in high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney problems, mental disease, and even early death.
If you have to deal with changes and an adjustment issue, you may become caught in this mode. You might experience ongoing aches, pains, and other health problems that you’ve never experienced before. Your body is signaling that it needs assistance, and this is a warning sign.
- An adjustment disorder sufferer desires to be the center of attention
Overreacting to stress and change can make you feel less valuable and deserving of respect. You might attempt to grab attention to make up for your damaged sense of self. Perhaps you long for someone to hear you out and understand your worn-out feelings.
Sadly, some people can see this behavior as narcissistic or self-centered. They are unaware of how stressful situations and changes might be for you because of stress response syndrome. One of the reasons you might start to isolate yourself is because of this.
- They Face Challenges in Developing and Upholding Relationships
Most people may agree that love isn’t enough to sustain partnerships. It takes a lot of effort, perseverance, comprehension, and compromise. Even the most devoted couples are bound to have stress and disagreements.
You might not have many deep relationships because adjustment disorder forces you to avoid stress at all costs. You might also have a track record of failed relationships, both personal and professional. You might have a propensity for overreacting to everything, which is probably too much for most people.
- They Don’t Have Much Energy
Maintaining a constant level of stress requires a lot of energy. No wonder you could feel fatigued despite getting plenty of sleep. Your state of mind can be causing problems at home and work.
You’d rather stay home and take a long snooze than go out and enjoy yourself. Even the prospect of a new experience could make you feel worn out. You become unhappy and lose more energy when you worry about missing out.
- Perfectionism is frequently a result of stress response syndrome
What a beautiful world it would be if everything was perfect and remained the same. This is irrational thinking that is unfounded in reality and can have unfavorable effects. A person with an adjustment issue, however, is frequently a perfectionist who will not attempt anything without making a mistake.
- These Symptoms Are Related to Regular Stressors in Life
Perhaps you are aware of the stressors that set off your disorder. You might go out of your way to avoid these, which are known as triggers. For instance, you might recall an unpleasant disagreement from the past when you are in a boisterous gathering.
The majority of those who have this illness frequently recall the incident that caused the symptoms. You’ll work to stay away from any triggers that are even vaguely similar to the original scenario. Even your entire day or joyous times could be planned to minimize stress.
- They Engage in Self-Destructive Behaviors
You can be sabotaging your happiness, which is one of the most unpleasant signs of stress response syndrome. To maintain calm, you’ll end the connection rather than deal with its pressures. Additionally, these symptoms can prevent you from achieving your long-held goals or advancing in your work.
Final Thoughts on Adjustment Disorder Symptoms
Do any of these signs bring back sad memories for you? The good news is that you don’t have to continue to suffer from this crippling condition. You must embrace mindful living since life is constantly changing. You won’t miss any of the adventures that are waiting for you if you do it that way.