While many individuals are aware of mood disorders like depression or anxiety, adjustment disorder is also a mood disorder that can be found in nearly 20% of those who are obtaining treatment within an outpatient setting, according to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). This common condition occurs as a response to a stressor within one’s life. While it is very normal to show depressive symptoms in the event of an upsetting occurrence, these symptoms will often clear themselves up with appropriate self-care and attention. However, some individuals keep experiencing symptoms including fatigue, anxiety, a marked impairment in functioning, and depression long after the triggering event. When this happens, it is likely that the individual is suffering from the effects of adjustment disorder, and he or she might require professional care to overcome this upsetting condition.
At times, those who are struggling from adjustment disorder will work to numb their pain by abusing dangerous substances. The effects of these attempts typically do not last long, and can result in an individual suffering a worsening of his or her symptoms. As a result, he or she will also likely develop another condition, such as a substance use disorder. However, regardless of what substance or substances an individual is abusing, finding a treatment center that is able to provide services that address mental illness and substance abuse at the same time will be necessary for a successful recovery. At Youth Care, we realize that in order for an individual to heal, he or she must work to address all areas of this or her physical, mental, behavioral, and emotional problems with a well-rounded approach. At Youth Care, we believe that a person is more than just his or her symptoms, and we have developed a flexible program that is able to offer personalized treatment for each individual who comes to us to end the dangerous cycle of addiction once and for all.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member
Witnessing a loved one or a family member struggle because of an adjustment disorder can be very upsetting, especially if you are feeling powerless in your attempts to help him or her. Without personal experience with mental illness or addiction, being able to help your loved one can seem very overwhelming. However, there are some things you can do, including the following:
- Obtain a stronger understanding of the condition that your loved one is experiencing. This includes finding out about causes, symptoms, and treatments so you can be in the know regarding his or her current issues.
- Take the information you have gathered and begin looking into different treatment centers that can help your loved one overcome his or her struggles. Speaking to staff members at a treatment center can also help you guide your loved one towards accepting help.
- Speak to your loved one about your concerns for his or her wellbeing in a nonjudgmental manner. Encourage him or her to obtain treatment as quickly as possible, and let him or her know that you will be there for support.
- Regardless of whether your loved one accepts treatment or not, be sure to practice good self-care. Doing so will allow you to properly support your loved one through whichever choice he or she makes for him or herself, as taking care of your own needs is just as vital.
Why Consider Treatment at Youth Care
Similar to any other mental health condition, adjustment disorder is a progressive illness. This means that if this condition is left untreated, symptoms will get worse as time passes, leading to more and more upset to the afflicted individual. Adjustment disorder is a stress-related illness that leads to a tremendous amount of impairment in overall functioning, as well as a number of disturbances to one’s wellbeing. However, when paired with a substance use disorder, these disturbances will grow in severity.
At Youth Care, we specialize in healing the upset that develops when adjustment disorder and chemical dependence occur at the same time. Our treatment plans are both comprehensive and individualized, and those that we treat are able to access a number of residential treatment tracks that supply specific services for a number of mental health issues, compulsive behaviors, addictions, and unique populations. We realize that no two individuals are alike, and that there is no single road to recovery. Therefore, we are determined to supply a number of services and time-tested treatment modalities that can be adjusted to meet the needs of each individual who seeks treatment at Youth Care.
Types of Treatment Offered at Youth Care
At Youth Care, we offer residential care for the treatment of adjustment disorder in a peaceful, structured, home-like setting. In this comfortable, therapeutic environment, adolescents are able to receive the care they need in a realistic, family-like atmosphere that is fully conducive to true and lasting healing. Providing care for youth, aged 11 to 17, we, at Youth Care, are pleased to offer individualized programming that is tailored to meet each adolescent’s unique needs and enhance their already-existing skillset.
The residential program here at Youth Care is based on accountability, responsibility, and respect. A level system is used to provide constructive feedback to the students as they learn to show respect by displaying appropriate behaviors and earning privileges and increased levels of trust. This connection between accountability, responsibility, trust, and privileges is an important life lesson that can be used in our students’ future relationships and implemented as they achieve future successes.
At Youth Care, we believe in honoring the adolescents who are entrusted into our care by helping them understand the choices they have and the natural consequences that can occur as a result of the choices they make. We believe that this not only helps our students learn good decision-making skills, but it also enhances the confidence they have in themselves by showing them that they are capable of making those good decisions.
Throughout an adolescent’s time spent at Youth Care for the treatment of adjustment disorder, he or she will have the opportunity to participate in the following interventions:
Medication management: The use of certain psychotropic medications may be beneficial in helping to alleviate the symptoms that youth experience as a result of adjustment disorder. Whether or not medication is used, however, will always be determined on a case-by-case basis, depending upon the particular needs of each adolescent. Students at Youth Care will meet with a psychiatrist once a week, and all medication management needs will be handled by the psychiatrist and Youth Care’s nursing and medical teams.
Individual therapy: Intensive individual therapy is a core component to the therapeutic process here at Youth Care. Students have the opportunity to meet with their primary therapists three times each week. Additionally, students can meet with an addictions counselor once per week if they are struggling with substance abuse concerns.
Group therapy: Group therapy sessions play a major role in the treatment plans of our students at Youth Care. Group sessions are held on a daily basis and are broken down as follows:
- Recreational therapy groups are held 2 times each week.
- Music therapy groups are held 1 time each week.
- Addictions groups are held 1 time each week.
- Process groups are held 3 times each week.
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) groups are held 1 time each week.
Family therapy: At Youth Care, we feel strongly that family integration is key in helping our students manage the symptoms of adjustment disorder. Because of this, we work hard to ensure that our students’ families are heavily involved in the treatment process. Family therapy sessions are held once each week and are led by each student’s primary therapist. Additionally, Parent Days are held every 6 to 8 weeks, offering educational seminars, multifamily group therapy, parent support groups, family therapy sessions, and family recreational activities.
Recreational therapy: When students engage in treatment for adjustment disorder at Youth Care, they will be offered a well-rounded approach to treatment that incorporates recreational activities into their schedules. Recreational therapy is designed to help students have a successful treatment experience by achieving physical, cultural, and social accomplishments. Recreational activities also provide students with opportunities to learn such valuable skills as teamwork, problem solving, communication, and trust. Furthermore, through participation in recreational activities, students can build better social skills, communication skills, coping skills, and interpersonal skills. They may also develop newfound interests, discover unknown talents, and experience an improvement in their self-esteem. Under the guidance and supervision of our licensed recreational therapist, students participate in in-house and community recreational activities 3 to 7 times per week.
Experiential therapy: In addition to the previously mentioned therapies, students receiving care for adjustment disorder at Youth Care will have the opportunity to take part in different experiential therapies throughout the duration of their time spent in treatment. The frequency of these experiential therapies will be determined by each student’s primary therapist and may include the following:
- Exposure therapy
- Expressive therapy
- Situational therapy
Community service activities: Students will be involved in community service activities at least twice each month. We have found that having students participate in such activities affords them the opportunity to develop greater empathy and a broader understanding of others, both of which can aid in their own recovery. Examples of the community service activities that students may participate in include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Visiting the elderly
- Filling shelves at the Food Bank
- Caring for animals at the Humane Society
Academics: At Youth Care, we believe that every student deserves to achieve success in school and therefore view our academic programming as a therapeutic intervention. Our academic program is fully accredited, which allows students to earn school credits, increase their knowledge, and work towards achieving academic goals during their time at Youth Care. Students are enrolled in a full day’s curriculum, which takes place in a traditional academic setting and is led by a team of certified secondary education teachers and special education teachers who have been trained to work with students possessing a range of learning abilities. All students have academic goals and objectives included in their individualized treatment plans, and they will attend school from 9:00am to 5:00pm every weekday, with therapeutic interventions being interwoven throughout their daily schedules.
In addition to the residential treatment offered through Youth Care, we are also pleased to provide partial hospitalization programming (PHP) for students who do not require the intensity of the programming that is offered in a residential setting. This day treatment option allows youth to attend the same daily programming as those receiving residential treatment, yet return home at night.
If your child is suffering from the symptoms of adjustment disorder and requires a safe, structured, and encouraging environment to work towards overcoming or managing his or her symptoms, look no further than Youth Care. Our specialized programming will be catered to meet your child’s every need so that he or she can succeed in living the full, happy, healthy, and productive life that he or she deserves to be living.