Adjustment disorder

Stress is an adjustment disorder (ICD-10). What does that mean? It means that you have difficulties adjusting to a new situation. Often you describe your feelings like: I feel overwhelmed, I feel stressed, I have the feeling I am responsible for everything, because the other team members are not doing as much as I do, etc.

In these situations you feel helpless, stranded, overwhelmed and you do not know how to handle the situation professionally. Your thoughts keep jumping into the future and emotionally you are afraid of what the future brings.

Typical situations are merger and acquisitions, personal situations, i.e. a relative is in need of care, a disabled child and situations in which you ask too much of yourself, i.e. you are given a large project by your boss, but at the same time you are building a new house and you need the money of the project to finance the new home of your family.

But not every situation which changes can be left straight away or at all. Of course I would like to leave my personal situation straight away, but that is not possible. I am still bound to my wheelchair and this week I will have my chemotherapy again... After that I will feel tired and need some rest. But I hope definitely that the chemotherapy will reduce the tumour further. The first three rounds have reduced it, but not that much that I am able to leave the wheelchair behind. I will have to wait and see... These situations are for many difficult to handle but you have only one option if you want to get rid of the stress: Accept the new situation. If I fight my situation I am in it would be a lot harder than it already is, because of the side blows I received in between. First there was the Thromboses with the Pulmonary Embolism and until last weekend Covid for a fortnight.

How can you accept the new situations?

  • Let your goals and visions go: It might be an impossible thought right now, but you will realise that there is not other option on the long run. I have to let my goals go, but I know I will have time to realise them later. I have created a motto for me: I can re-earn all the money I loose right now, but I can not get back my health. Therefore my first new goal is to become healthy and afterwards I can earn money again. But the conditions have changed. There will be no work at night and I will be more expensive. I have started this way already and I will accelerate the speed of the process.
  • Say no where necessary: The stressful situation will help you to be a lot stricter with saying no. The moment you have decided to let your goals and visions go you will start to say no and you will realise how easy it is. Before you have hit the wall you thought you are depending on your projects, on the new bigger and more modern house, but in your current situation you start to prioritise your past situation differently, because you understand that there is more than money, competition, etc. Later you might earn even more money than ever before, but it is under different circumstances. You have learnt to set your boundaries and setting these has given you freedom for new projects, new hobbies, and more productivity.
  • Stick to your new priorities: That might be a tough one at the beginning when you are getting out of your current situation, but it is absolutely important to have no relapses. I would advice you to take odd weekends off on a regularly basis to reconsider the past and to check where you stand and what the future should be like. It might well be helpful not to do it alone and instead get a coach and book him or her for the weekend, because s/he has a view on your situation from the outside.

In this article I have written about the adjustment disorder a diagnosis often used when somebody visits a doctor because s/he has stress. Further I have described how the person might feel and how he or she can get out of this stressful situation.