Life changes, such as an illness, going away to school, marriage, divorce, unemployment, new job, being involved in a car accident, etc., cause stress. In most cases, people adjust to those events within a few months. In some cases, however, the emotional (anxiety, depression, worry, tension, stress), behavioural (impaired functioning at home, at work or socially), or physical symptoms do not go away even several months after the occurrence of the stressor. It is important to seek therapy to address those symptoms before they become chronic.
The treatment of adjustment disorders usually involves assessing the person's problem-solving and coping skills, as well as encouraging and supporting more effective coping. Relaxation techniques and lifestyle changes are often addressed in therapy. Treatment includes helping the person to gain perspective through addressing possible cognitive errors, reevaluating his or her role in the situation, and coming up with specific steps in dealing with the stressor and moving on.