Reactive Depression. What is it?

Identification, causes and symptoms

Situational or reactive depression is a mental disorder triggered by trauma or an external event, for example, death of the relative, loved one or a close friend. Its symptoms usually last from a few weeks to six months after the trauma. When diagnosed, symptoms of reactive depression differ a little from symptoms of other types and categories of depression.

So, what are main causes of reactive depression? Some of them are a constant presence of the stressor and sudden changes in the environment. What does a chronic stressor mean? The chronic stressor is a person who is difficult to communicate or deal with. Communication with such a person during a long period of time can result in reactive depression. Sometimes symptoms of this mental disorder disappear after the stressor was removed. As we told above, loss of the loved one or the friend can be a cause of reactive depression. Financial problems and loss of the job are also among its causes. Reactive depression can also be caused by some diseases, injuries and birth of the baby. It is very important to make a proper diagnosis, because some causes of reactive depression are similar to those ones of major depression.

And now let us consider common symptoms of reactive depression. They are pain or bellyaches not responding to the treatment, headaches, loss of interest in usual activities, problems with memory, sadness, difficulty making decisions, thoughts of suicide or death, excessive crying, weight changes, problems with sleep, persistent anxiety and feeling of emptiness and guilty, feeling hopeless, helpless and pessimistic, problems with sex drive, energy lack, irritability, rapid heart, drug and alcohol abuse.

If reactive depression is not treated and its symptoms get worse, it may result in major depression. Moreover, it mirrors clinical depression, your mood can suddenly change without no reason or you feel miserable and hopeless. Your life seems to be overwhelming. You begin thinking life is unfair.

Diagnosis of reactive depression and its treatment

Reactive depression is considered not to have underlying somatic or biological processes unlike endogenous depression. A traumatic event is the main cause of this mental disorder. No matter what type of mental disorder you are suffering from, the diagnosis should be made only by a certified mental physician, as well as treatment should be under the care of the skilled health professional.

Recommended methods of reactive depression treatment are cognitive-behaviour therapy, medications and interpersonal therapy. When beginning to recover from this mental disorder, track changes in your mood. Sometimes, it may help you to remove the stressor from your life. It will help you to recover faster. Treatment of reactive depression is often aimed to find the main cause of the disorder and remove it by changing lifestyle. You can find causes of your health problem yourself. Analyse what causes your stress and makes you depressed. These are lifestyle changes that can help you to feel optimistic and empowered, and forget about reactive depression. If you feel there is something that makes you suffer, get rid of it and enjoy life!

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