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What is situational depression?

Situational depression, also known as reactive depression or Adjustment Disorder, is a stress-related depression. As the name suggests, it is a kind of depression that arises after a stressful, unpleasant, or disturbing experience. It is said to be a short-term disorder since its symptoms subside once the situation eases.

People are often confused if situational depression and clinical depression are similar. The answer is no. They are two very different types of depression. The cause of situational depression is known, and on the other hand, the cause of clinical depression is often unknown. However, in some cases, a situation could exhaust a person to a great extent, affecting their coping ability and progress to clinical depression if not paid attention to at the right time.

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Symptoms of situational depression

A triggering life event could affect an individual in unimaginable ways. Even if the effects of this event recede after a few months or days, it is imperative to look out for symptoms of situational depression

The symptoms for this type of depression start to show within ninety days of the traumatic experience and last up to 6 months. Some experiences that could lead to situational depression are the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, the loss of a job, or other drastic life changes. Such events show some typical symptoms that include:

  • The feeling of sadness, helplessness, and irritability
  • Lack of motivation
  • Constant crying
  • Loss of pleasure in day-to-day activities
  • Self-isolation
  • Inability to focus and cope with daily situations
  • Suicidal thoughts

Causes of situational depression

The situations or events that cause depression could differ from person to person.
Since every individual’s coping mechanism is different, the situation that affects one person wouldn’t affect another at all. Every person’s threshold of bearing pain or happiness is unique. Another reason a person could suffer from situational depression is when another family member has experienced it. Here is a list of life events that could cause situational depression.

  • Relationship problems
  • Death of a loved one
  • Relocation
  • Birth of a baby
  • Social issues at work or school
  • Natural disasters
  • Financial instability
  • Loss of a job
  • Prolonged illness
  • Stress experienced during childhood
  • Existing mental health issues
  • Genetic changes
  • Hormonal abnormalities/imbalance
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Diagnosing situational depression

Diagnosing situational depression

Just like other mental health disorders, diagnosing situational depression is crucial. When a painful situation occurs, some people knowingly, unknowingly start to develop symptoms of this type of depression. Now the catch here lies in diagnosing these symptoms at the right time in order to restrict them from progressing.
The best way of diagnosing situational depression is by consulting a mental health professional. These specialists assist in confirming the illness by checking the following:

  • Encountering more than usual stress, especially after a hurtful event
  • Problems caused in relationships due to severe stress
  • Depression symptoms that are not related to any other mental health disorder
  • Development of behavioral and emotional problems within three months of the occurrence of the disturbing situation
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Treatment for situational depression

The optimal way to treat any mental condition is by consulting a mental health expert. Situational depression treatment usually consists ofpsychotherapy. When the case is severe, medication treatment is suggested.

There are lifestyle changes mentioned below that are also suggested by specialists when the treatment is over.

  • Doing some form of exercise
  • Having healthy sleep cycles
  • Spending a relaxed time
  • Reinforcing the social support system

Suicide prevention

Suicidal thoughts and attempts may become common among people who suffer from situational depression. Even while situational depression treatment is going on, an individual might get triggered by something unusual. In such situations, suicidal attempts emerge. Some ways to help the suffering person are:

  • Calling the emergency helpline number
  • Supporting the person until help arrives
  • Taking away all the harmful weapons

Book consultation for situational depression

We know and understand that overcoming mental health disorders like situational depression can be a lengthy and sometimes painful process. But the bright side to this is, this type of depression can be cured and needs minimal effort from the sufferers’ end.

We at SCPC TMS make it a point to help you with the best of our abilities to overpower situational depression and other such traumatic mental health problems. To book a consultation with us, contact us today.

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