An Attitude Adjustment—The Practical Side

More than once, when I was young, I heard one adult laughingly say to another—“That kid needs an attitude adjustment.” In recent weeks, that phrase has resurfaced in my life. I have many clients coming to me who are facing “life adjustments” (stressors) and they are trying to “adjust their attitudes” accordingly.

If we are all honest, most (if not all) of us are currently dealing with some kind of life adjustment. And if we are not beginning a new life season now, we will be before long. Whether it is clients or friends, I know many people facing new life stressors right now. Here is a short list of things people in my life have been going through in recent months: buying a house, caring for an ailing parent, moving, buying a business, making complicated and forever life-altering health decisions, getting married, changing careers and becoming a parent. We ALL are either dealing with new stressors (good or bad) or we will be soon because that is the ebb and flow of life. Life seasons come and go. And, let’s be real, life can be stressful.

So, for this blog I want to talk about Adjustment Disorders and what can happen when we are faced with life stressors. TheDSM-5 defines an adjustment disorder as “emotional or behavioral symptoms [that occur] in response to an identifiable stressor(s).” The DSM-5 goes on to say that these symptoms cause distress and impair a person’s “social, occupational and other important areas of functioning.” In short, an Adjustment Disorder happens when a life stressor occurs and a person has a difficult time adjusting to that stressor. A person dealing with an adjustment disorder cannot just give themselves an “attitude adjustment” (pep talk, etc.) feel better and move on. The stress the person trying to adjust feels emerges in feelings of anxiety or depression. And these feelings interfere with the person’s ability to “do life” (work, be in relationships, etc.).

Maybe this describes you. Are you currently dealing with a life stressor and having trouble managing feelings of stress, anxiety and/or depression? Change can be hard, especially if you are lacking the support system and coping skills to navigate this new life season. If you are feeling overwhelmed, an Orlando licensed mental health counselor can help you. She can provide support and empathy and help you build the skill set you need to thrive in your current life season and not only adjust, but grow.  Please call Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to make an appointment with a therapist.


Yolanda Brailey