Don’t worry about knowing a mental health diagnosis before referring to a professional, but DO keep an eye out for the following symptoms associated with these two common diagnoses.

Adjustment Disorders: No mental health issue should ever be minimized, however, knowing that “adjustment disorders are like the common cold of mental health” can help with removing stigma. With adjustment disorders, there’s been an identifiable stressor (e.g., an injury, break-up, etc.). Reactions to stressor seem strong (and may supposedly “unrelated to the stressor”). Work, school, and/or social life are impacted. You notice symptoms of anxiety (e.g., racing thoughts or uncomfortable feelings in the body such as muscle tension, stomach discomfort, or fast heart rate), depressed mood, poor conduct, or some mixture of these symptoms.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder: With “GAD,” one is anxious or worried more often than not. The worry tends to feel out of control. And, some combination of these symptoms tend to be experienced: 1) Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge; 2) Being easily fatigued; 3) Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank; 4) Irritability; 5) Muscle tension; and/or 6) Sleep disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless unsatisfying sleep).

Even if only a small number of symptoms occur, there is no harm in being proactive with getting professional assistance. Hopefully you see your dentist every 6 months (or more); why not check in with a mental health professional?