The development of emotional or behavioral symptoms in response to an identifiable stressor(s) occurring within 3 months of the onset of the stressor(s)
NOS – Not Otherwise Specified, means that you fit the criteria for an adjustment disorder but you do not qualify in any of the other predetermined categories.
Emotional symptoms of adjustment disorders
Signs and symptoms of adjustment disorder may affect how you feel and think about yourself or life, and are displayed differently in children than in adults. The possible symptoms include:
Behavioral symptoms of adjustment disorders
Signs and symptoms of adjustment disorder may affect your actions or behavior, such as:
Length of symptoms - How long you have symptoms of an adjustment disorder also can vary:
The key when looking at adjustment disorders is to understand that something happened in your life that has been difficult to adjust to. It takes our minds a bit of time to change and adapt to new events or happenings – when a large event happens, or when a lot of events happen in a short period of time, our minds can't keep up and get overwhelmed. When this overwhelming happens, symptoms occur as a result. If the major event were removed from your life, you would experience a reduction in your symptoms.
This can feel anywhere from frustrated and agitated to overwhelmed with sadness and grief. Sometimes people don't notice a change in their emotions, but will notice changes in their behavior first, which alerts them that something is wrong.
Look back in your life for a time when you can tell that you didn't have any symptoms, and then look for a time that you know that symptoms occurred. If there was a life change that happened in the time between no symptoms, and noticing symptoms, chances are you have an adjustment disorder.
Our minds are always making up new rules for living life – in psychology we call these rules “core beliefs”. When new events happen our minds try to use new information to help change the way we view ourselves, or the world around us.
When a major event happens to us, sometimes our minds are not able to adapt quickly enough. This can cause our core beliefs to create inner conflict. Inner conflict causes anxiety, depression, changes in behavior, mood, and other symptoms that are present with an adjustment disorder.