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Solutions for Extreme Stress
When adults act like children Martyn Carruthers

Online Help: Coaching, Counseling & Therapy

Do you want to end emotional stress, limiting beliefs or toxic relationships?

Can you Cope with Change?

Stress is a normal part of life, and stress reactions can interfere with study, work, and relationships. Many reactions are are delayed, with people reacting to stress decades later, showing behavioral problems, psychosomatic symptoms or emotional disorders.

Can you deal with stress reactions or do you feel stuck? Do you continue to relive the stressful events, rather like a needle jumping on old gramophone records. Such stress reactions can continue for decades.

We help people find, recover and integrate lost parts of themselves.

Do you have an Adjustment Disorder?

Adjustment disorders differ to common, everyday stress and emotional problems. If you lose a partner or a job -  you may feel depressed. If you lost a partner or job two years ago, and you are still depressed, then you may have an emotional problem or a  relationship issue.

You may experience some frustration, but you solve most problems with your own resources - which includes your ability to find other resources. You try one and another option until you remove the stressor or reduce its intensity. Your emotional maturity reflects your ability to rapidly respond to and control stress.

Perhaps you were never taught stress control; or the stressor is too much for you to handle. The inability to manage stress may be called age regression, immaturity, covert emotional incest, emotional trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

If you stress symptoms impair your life, including difficulties at school or work, social problems, legal difficulties, relationship chaos or symptoms of disease, then you may be told that you have an adjustment disorder.

What causes Adjustment Disorders?

An adjustment disorder is an exaggerated emotional or behavioral reaction to a stressful event. The reaction usually occurs within a few months of the identified event or change, although the unpleasant feelings may explode later in life.

Stressful events that change the life of a child or adolescent include family moves, parental separation, the loss of a family member and the birth of siblings.

Sometimes a parent's love can feel confining and demanding Were you an "emotional partner" to a parent? Could you be a victim of covert emotional incest?

As people vary in their experiences, temperament and their ability to cope; and as stressors can vary in intensity, duration and effect, we cannot accurately predict how many sessions might be needed.


AD, mental illness, PTSD, psychiatric disorder, non-psychotic disturbance, sub-threshold disorders, sub-threshold syndromes, psychosocial stressors, stress disorders, suicide, suicidal impulses, anxiety, depression, self-harm, psychopathology, stress reactions, relationship chaos, self-sabotage, fixations or low self-esteem

Who is affected - and how?

Stress disorders occur equally in males and females at all ages in all cultures. Symptoms of adjustment disorders in younger children include tantrums, hyperactivity and withdrawal, while adults more often experience depression - life doesn't make sense. Reactions to the stressors seem to be exaggerated, and may interfere with education, work or family responsibilities.

Most treatments for stress just try to delete symptoms.
We help people resolve emotional and relationship issues.

Symptoms of Adjustment Disorders

Consider three common groups of adjustment disorders although mixtures of symptoms are common. (People who oscillate between two different symptom sets may be expressing a systemic disorder we call Identity Conflict.)

Childish Adults

Some adults act like children. In may be acceptable for a Western man to act childishly if he is stressed or ill. This may not be acceptable in other cultures - or for women.

1. Anxiety Symptoms (mostly children or age-regressed adults)

  • Nervous, Worried, Afraid of change
  • Afraid of separation from parents or partner
  • Generalized Anxiety / Agoraphobia (extreme)

2. Behavioral Symptoms (mostly teenagers or age-regressed adults)

  • Hyperactivity and Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD - ADHD)
  • Preoccupied with violence & gore (e.g. TV, computer games and cinema)
  • Violates others rights (e.g. bullying, theft) or societal rules (e.g. delinquency)

3. Depressive Symptoms (mostly adults)

  • Depressed and withdrawn
  • Melancholy, crying and tearfulness
  • Expresses hopelessness and helplessness

Stress causes some people withdraw into depression or to experience crisis. They may feel overwhelmed by unpleasant emotions (e.g. loneliness, abandonment or rejection) and they may desperately seek distractions!

Most people will only seek help after they have suffered a LOT.
Have you suffered enough to change?

Do you want to resolve emotional and relationship problems?

Online Help: Coaching, Counseling & Therapy

I thought you were just another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 2003-2018
All rights reserved.

If you like our work, please link to us. If you know someone who might benefit,
please mention or

For online help, email us at:

Soulwork systemic coaching in America & Hawaii


Soulwork systemic coaching in England, Wales & Scotland

Soulwork systemic coaching in Croatia & Serbia

Soulwork systemic coaching in Poland



Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 1996-2018  All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work - email