Your Health


Understanding Adjustment Disorder
Learn About Adjustment Disorder
Significant life changes, such as migrating to another country, losing one’s possessions to a natural event, death of a loved one, job changes, or family changes, can take a toll on one’s life and overall disposition, which can lead to the onset of adjustment disorder.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, adjustment disorder is a common mental health illness that occurs within three months after an individual experiences a stressful or uncomfortable situation. It can begin as soon as the event occurs or even a few months after it happens.

The symptoms of adjustment disorder cause a significant and marked upset that is neither culturally or personally normal. This could also cause impairment in one’s family, work, or social life. Thankfully, however, these symptoms often disappear or become less significant within six months, especially if the individual is not being continually exposed to new stressors.

While adjustment disorders are active, the individual might feel very anxious, depressed, or uncomfortable. The individual might also display unhealthy or odd behaviors or act in a manner that is not helpful to his or her family or work life.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of adjustment disorder

The effects of adjustment disorder can vary from individual to individual. The type of event that has caused the onset of the symptoms of the disorder, the person’s personality, support network, and lifestyle can all affect the severity of and type of symptoms that develop because of the adjustment disorder. Some of the varied symptoms of adjustment disorder can include:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Refusal to participate in previously enjoyable activities
  • Neglect of daily responsibilities
  • Crying or tearfulness
  • Isolating oneself from friends or family
  • Skipping work, school, or other important events
  • Suicide attempts
  • Aggression or uncharacteristic irritability
  • Decline in work or school performance

Physical symptoms:

  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Body tension or inability to relax
  • Body pains such as headache and stomachache
  • Chest pains or pounding heartbeat at times

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Lapses in sound judgment
  • Lack of concentration when completing tasks
  • Inability to make quick, good decisions
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Difficulty in retaining information or recalling memories
  • Forgetfulness or losing items

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Feeling hopeless or restless
  • Excessive feelings of dread, worry, or concern
  • Sudden mood changes
  • Nervousness or jumpiness
  • Anxiety
  • Unstable emotions
  • Depression
    Causes and Risk Factors

    Causes and risk factors for adjustment disorder

    Adjustment disorder starts when an individual suffers a stressful event or chronic or repeated trauma, thereby increasing the risk of developing this disorder. The individual might respond with behaviors or emotions that cause challenge or discomfort within everyday life. Aside from this, below are some other risk factors that increase one’s likelihood of becoming diagnosed with adjustment disorder.

    Risk Factors:

    A series of different experiences plus numerous stressors might lead to the onset of adjustment disorder. While there is no limit on the types of situations that might cause adjustment disorder, some of the events that can lead to adjustment disorder can include:

    • Problems with school or work
    • Community violence or crime
    • Drastic shifts in living or occupational goals
    • Conflict in marriage or other relationships
    • End of a romantic relationship
    • Becoming a new parent, or losing a child
    • Business losses or difficulties
    • Diagnosis of a serious or chronic illness
    • Retirement or any major life changes
    • Natural disasters such as fire, storm, or flood

    Effects of adjustment disorder

    In most cases, the symptoms of adjustment disorder will not continue for longer than six months. However, there are situations that can make this condition continue past six months because of the presence of other stressors or trauma. For most, the symptoms can be highly uncomfortable and might lead to unfortunate outcomes. Without proper attention and care, adjustment disorder can lead to:

    • Difficulties within or lost interpersonal relationships
    • Job termination
    • Financial difficulties
    • Unpredictable mood swings
    • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
    • Substance use or abuse
    • Onset of other mental health disorders
    • Lower performance at work or school
    • Lowered social contact

    In this case, obtaining professional treatment in order to determine if other treatments are required will help an individual recover from this sort of mental health condition.

April Is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

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It’s time to talk about it we are a safe zone.

Take Action During SAAM

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, otherwise known as SAAM. During this month, people across the United States raised awareness about sexual violence, how to prevent it, and how to support those who are affected by it. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center chooses a campaign theme each year as a guideline for discussions and activities to focus on. This year’s focus is on asking for consent.


Your Voice. Our Future. Prevent Sexual Violence Your voice has power. Listen Believe Support. Related image


What is Sexual Violence?

Sexual violence is any sexual contact or behavior that happens without your consent. Other names used for sexual violence – rape, sexual abuse and sexual assault.

Sexual violence is about power and control not sex or love and includes rape, sexual child abuse, incest, fondling, attempted rape, human trafficking, sexual harassment, or any other type of unwanted sexual contact.

Some realities:

  • In most sexual assault cases, physical force is not used.
  • Most victims will not display outward, visible injuries.

Signs of sexual assault:

  • Unwanted touching.
  • Rape: actual or attempted unwanted vaginal, oral, or anal penetration by an object or body part.
  • Forcing or manipulating you into doing unwanted, painful or degrading acts during intercourse.
  • Taking advantage of you while you’re drunk or otherwise not likely to give consent.
  • Denying you contraception or protection against sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Taking any kind of sexual pictures or film of you without your consent.
  • Forcing you to perform sexual acts on film or in person for money.
  • Threatening to break up with you if you refuse sex.

What is rape?

Rape is a crime of violence and domination in which one person forces, coerces or manipulates another person to have sex. There are many types of rape that can occur, but the most common types are:

  • Date rape is forced or coerced sex within a dating relationship. Acquaintance rape is committed by someone known to the victim. Nearly two-thirds of all victims ages 18 to 29 report a prior relationship with their attacker.
  • Date rape drugs or alcohol is quite commonly used on college campuses, although drugged rape is not limited to college campuses. Alcohol is the No. 1 drug used in sexual assaults, and on college campuses, alcohol is a factor in 90 percent of rapes.
  • Statutory rape is sexual intercourse between a person who is under the age of 16 and a person who is 3 or more years older, with or without consent. In Connecticut, anyone younger than 16 cannot legally consent to sex.

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is any unwelcomed or unwanted sexual behavior or pressure that embarrasses, humiliates or intimidates and individual. Sexual harassment can be physical, verbal and non verbal and visual, such as staring or gestures that are suggestive or sexual.

If you are a victim, you are not alone

Sexual violence can happen to anyone, men, women and children of all ages, races, gender, sexual identity, religion and economic classes. Sexual assault victims often feel isolated or ashamed and often do not report an attack. It is never the victim’s fault.

  • 90 percent of victims know the person who sexually assaulted them.
  • 1 in 6 men will experience sexual assault in their lifetime; sexual assault of men is thought to be greatly unreported.
  • 1 in 3 transgender and gender non-conforming people experience sexual violence.
  • 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys will be sexually assaulted by the time they are 18.
  • A rape or attempted rape occurs every 5 minutes in the United States.

How can you help a victim?

If someone you care about is sexually assaulted, you can do to help in the healing process and provide support your loved. The  Crisis Hotline: 1 (866) 358-2265 Sexual Assault Crisis offers ways to help:

  • Believe the victim/survivor unconditionally. Accept what you hear without judgment.
  • Reinforce to the victim/survivor that it is not their fault. Sexual assault is NEVER the victim/survivor’s fault. It is important not to ask “why” questions, such as “Why were you in that area at that time?” that suggest that they are to blame for the assault.
  • Understand that you cannot control how the victim/survivor feels or “fix” the problem. Everyone reacts differently to sexual assault and heals at his or her own pace. It is important that you not assume you know how they are feeling — almost any reaction is possible and completely normal.
  • Be a good listener and be patient. Let the victim/survivor know you are there for them when they are ready to talk. When and if the victim/survivor does want to talk about the assault, do not push for information. Let them tell you what they are comfortable sharing in their own time.
  • Help the victim/survivor regain a sense of control over their life. During a sexual assault, power is taken away from the victim/survivor. Support decisions and choices the victim/survivor makes without passing judgment. Try not to tell the victim/survivor what to do; instead assist by presenting options and resources for them to make the decision that is right for them.
  • Respect the victim/survivor’s need for privacy. If the victim/survivor needs to be alone, respect that decision.
  • Do not suggest that the victim/survivor “move on” with their life and forget about the rape. The victim/survivor needs the opportunity to work through the trauma of the assault and begin the healing process.
  • Respect the victim/survivor’s right to decide whether or not to report the assault to the police.
  • Remember to take care of yourself and seek support if you need it. You will be better able to support the victim/survivor.





Safety & Concerns of Social Media & Children

child-safety-and-privacy-controlA child having his or her social network is like a rite of passage of sort these days. A child cannot bear it, as you might very well remember if she or he is not socially relevant in his or her circle of friends. They want people to hang on to their word and care about their whereabouts and share all the opinions they might have. And today, achieving such a feat is impossible if your child does not have his or her own social media account. An account they can use to stay in touch with their friends.

Privacy Features on Social Networks

Since, the minds behind social networks are pretty well aware of the fact that there are children joining their vast number of users every day, whether they should or they shouldn’t because of the fact that they want to be a part of the ever moving and never stagnant digital age of man.

Therefore, the children who are not yet 13 are joining social media net works under the disguise that they are and since such networks do not have a way to verify whether the child who is joining social media networks is of the age they are actually claiming to be. The same goes for minors who are not yet 18 years of age and join the websites pretending to be that they are.

Furthermore, social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, Twitter and even YouTube and Netflix come equipped with all sorts of privacy options that allow you to make your social network account private so that only your friends and the people who are close to you can actually see them, or follow them or even add them as friends.

Plus, they also come equipped with the option of blocking unsavory people or content from a number of these social media networks though direct physical access to the website or even through  parental monitoring app like TheOneSpy that gives you direct access to the app or even delete the installed app if parents feel like it.

Other Safety Concerns

Apart from these methods, there are various other methods that parents can instruct their children to follow or even ensure that their kids follow these rules via parental monitoring app. A few such ways are as follows:

  1. Make sure that “friends only” privacy exists on their accounts so that whatever they post can only be viewed by the people they know. This way only the people you and they know firsthand and trust may be able to see the pictures of themselves they post with their friends or family.
  2. Do not add unknown people on their social media account since some of them might turn out to be sockpuppet accounts or accounts of people that prowl social media networks to find the next victim to groom. There might also be people online that might go catfishing on your child’s account, all of which are the very worst case scenarios. Tell them how having 50 good friends that they know and trust on Facebook are better than 500 fake ones.
  3. Instruct them on never commenting of groups containing iffy material. Such groups happen to be prowling grounds for people that might be potentially looking victims like your kids to harm.
  4. Tell them to never give out private information to even the people they know on social media since their account may be at risk of being hacked and the hacker may exploit the personal information they may get from these accounts.

The Bottom Line

Using these methods with any others you can think of you can make your child’s online experience safe and fun. Furthermore, they can even allow them to connect with the people they know and share their thoughts and opinions with them.

Coping with Anxiety & Depression

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Many people with anxiety disorders understand that their thoughts are irrational, but they still can’t stop them. Listed below are some symptoms of Anxiety and Depression.
These are signs that a person may suffer from both anxiety disorder and depression:
  • Constant, irrational fear and worry
  • Physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat, fatigue, headaches, hot flashes, sweating, abdominal pain, and difficulty breathing
  • Insomnia
  • Changes in eating, either too much or too little
  • Difficulty with memory, decision making, and concentration
  • Constant feelings of sadness or worthlessness
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
  • Feeling tired and cranky
  • Inability to relax
  • Panic attacks

Warning Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore


Loved ones of those struggling with anxiety and depression should be on the lookout for these warning signs of mental health crisis…

  • Poor daily self-care, such as refusing to perform personal hygiene habits, get out of bed, or eat
  • Sudden and extreme changes in mood
  • Becoming violent, threatening, or aggressive
  • Abusing substances
  • Appearing confused or having hallucinations
  • Talking about suicide or about not having a reason to live


No one has to suffer from anxiety disorder or depression, and certainly not both. People with anxiety disorder should speak with a psychiatrist, therapist, or other healthcare professional about their symptoms, and start treatment before depression has a chance to set in. Our staff is here to help you. Please give us a call at Preferred Counseling we are here to help you.

Verbal, Physical & Social Cyber Bullying

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Bullying often starts in elementary school outside on school grounds  and on school buses and typically becomes most common in middle school. By high school, it is less common but still occurs.

* 28% of students in the U.S. in grades 6-12 have experienced bullying.

* Around 30% of students admit to bullying someone else.

* 70.6% of students and 70.4% of teachers say they have seen bullying in schools.

* The most common types of bullying are verbal and social. Physical bullying happens less often. Cyber-bullying happens the least.

* Only 20-30% of bullied students notify adults about incidents.

Bullying can be hard to define.

Kids who bully usually pick on someone who is weaker or more alone, and they repeat the actions over and over. Bullying can take many forms, including:

• Physical bullying: using physical force or aggression against another person ( hitting).

• Verbal bullying: using words to verbally attack someone ( name-calling).

• Social/relational bullying: trying to hurt someone through excluding them, spreading rumors or ignoring them (gossiping).

• Cyber-bullying: using electronic media to threaten, embarrass, intimidate, exclude someone, or to damage their reputation ( sending threatening text messages).

Children who are being bullied may be embarrassed and not want to talk about it, so it is important to recognize the signs. Your child may:

• Have physical injuries. Bruises, cuts, scrapes, and scratches etc.

• “Lose” items frequently – bullies may take belongings or steal lunch money or prepared lunches. Children may come home from school without favorite toys, clothes, or other items.

• Sleep poorly and develop frequent headaches, stomachaches, and other physical problems. (Children may also pretend to be sick or make other excuses to avoid certain people or situations.)

• Suddenly receive lower grades or develop learning problems.

• Talk about suicide.

By being aware of these signs, parents and caregivers are more likely to be able to help. Bullying is a serious problem; kids who are bullied are more likely to have low self-esteem and are more likely to struggle with their mental health.

There are many things that you can do to help your child if he/she is being bullied.

• Seek help from your child’s teacher, principal or school counselor.

• Help your child come up with strategies to deal with a bully.

• Encourage your child to take part in after-school activities, such as sports or drama, to help raise their confidence.

• Teach your child not to reply to bullies online and to ignore text messages from bullies. Ask your child to show an adult the message. Block any more messages from the sender.

• Remind your child to accept messages only from people he/she knows.

It is also important for parents and caregivers to teach children the importance of standing up for others. Bullying can be stopped if people pay attention and take action.

If you think your child is being bullied, or is bullying someone else, take action to stop the abuse.


The 2019 theme is to “Choose Kindness.” She asks, “If everyone was being kind to one another could bullying exist?”
Let’s all work to prevent bullying. Get involved.


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