Adjustment disorder is a group of symptoms, such as stress, feeling sad or hopeless, and physical symptoms that can occur after you go through a stressful life event. The reaction is more severe than would normally be expected, and can result in significant impairment in social, occupational or academic functioning. An adjustment disorder/stress response syndrome is not the same as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Work problems, 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.