Work problems, getting married, going away to school, an illness any number of life changes can cause stress. Most of the time, people adjust to such changes within a few months. But if you continue to feel down or self-destructive, you may have an adjustment disorder.

An adjustment disorder is a type of stress-related mental illness. You may feel anxious or depressed, or even have thoughts of suicide. You may not be able to go about some of your daily routines, such as work or seeing friends. Or you may make reckless decisions. In essence, you have a hard time adjusting to change in your life, and it has serious consequences.

You don't have to tough it out on your own, though. Treatment of an adjustment disorder may help you regain your emotional footing. Most adults get better within just a few months, although teenagers may struggle longer. Treatment may also help prevent an adjustment disorder from becoming a more serious problem.

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