Many of our clients come to us feeling a little lost as they are transitioning to a different part of their life. In the DSM-V there is a diagnosis called Adjustment Disorder which is often accompanied by symptoms of anxiety and depression.
We are here to help whether it is getting out of a long-term relationship or marriage, adjusting to marriage, moving to a new city, starting a new job, mourning the loss of someone special, being diagnosed with a new medical condition, raising a child for the first time, or wanting to make a career change.
Below are some common complaints clients have as they are going through a life transition or struggling with adjustment disorder:
Depression Symptoms: When life transitions happen, there can be symptoms of depression that come up such as difficult getting motivated, trouble concentrating, feeling sad, feeling a lack of interest in activities one used to enjoy doing, struggles with sleep, feeling hopeless, or feeling fatigued.
Anxiety Symptoms: There can also be symptoms of anxiety that come up such as worrying constantly, struggling with feelings of inadequacy, feeling restless or jittery, experiencing your heart racing more, having sweaty palms, and having trouble focusing or concentrating.
Eating Disorder Symptoms & Weight Changes: When experiencing stress, loneliness, or grief during a transition period, it’s not uncommon for someone to turn to food for comfort. This can lead to emotional eating, binge eating, weight gain, or often not eating enough at all and losing significant amounts of weight.
Insomnia or Hypersomnia: Sometimes adjustment periods and transitions in life lead to difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much.
Nutrition & Physical Activity: During life transitions, normal routines around making good, nutritious food and engaging in physical activity can be disrupted. Two things that can often be tied to good mental health can begin to be pushed to the bottom of the “to-do” list during adjustment periods and transitions which can often lead to increased problems with sleep, depression and anxiety symptoms.
Substance Use: Occasionally when struggling with a new phase of life, the stress will be so great that clients find themselves turning to drugs or alcohol to cope and temporarily escape the emotional pain they may be feeling.
Relationship Deterioration or Loneliness: During life transitions and adjustments, there can be a desire to isolate or irritability that leads to problems in intimate or family relationships. Alternatively some clients often move to the Washington DC metro area wanting to connect with others and struggle with feeling lonely and disconnected, not quite sure how to navigate making new friends as an adult.