When we think of depression, we often picture a person who is sad and withdrawn. This person experiences sadness much of the time, even when the reasons aren’t clear from their experiences. Still, depression is a serious problem that many people face. Many things can cause it and contribute to symptoms just as debilitating, whether or not the reasons or causes are apparent.
Situational depression is a type of clinical depression that occurs when a person’s reaction to an event has caused them to become depressed. A wide variety of events can lead to situational depression, including divorce, trauma, and many others.
Situational depression signs and symptoms will vary for each individual depending on their mental state, coping mechanisms, and other factors. While this type of depression may not be as well-known as major depression, it is still a serious mental health problem needing attention.
We must put the spotlight on situational depression specifically and spread awareness so that more people understand at what point they should seek help and how.
Situational depression vs. major depression
Situational depression is sometimes referred to as an adjustment disorder with a depressed mood. It looks like major depression in many ways and shares similar symptoms, such as changes in appetite and difficulty sleeping.
The main difference between situational depression and major depression is that, as the name suggests, specific situations cause situational depression.
What can cause situational depression?
Various situations and events can lead to situational depression. Some examples include:
-Divorce, breakup, separation, or child custody issue
-Death of a loved one
-Being in an abusive relationship
-Loss of job or income; financial difficulties
-Moving to a new location
-Trauma or abuse
-A life-altering or threatening injury or medical diagnosis
It’s normal to experience intense feelings of sadness or anxiety when facing any of the above situations. However, with situational depression, these feelings can become out of proportion with the initial event, having a more lasting impact and interfering with one’s daily life.
What are the symptoms of situational depression?
The symptoms of situational depression tend to vary from person to person. However, some common signs may indicate you are experiencing situational depression. Some of these signs may include:
-Loss of interest in activities that you usually enjoy
-Feeling irritable or agitated for no reason
-Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness, like nothing can make things better
With situational depression, symptoms typically occur within three months of the initial event. While situational depression symptoms are typically considered less severe than major depression, if symptoms and feelings of sadness persist and begin to feel disproportionate to what happened, it’s time to speak with a medical professional.
What should you do if you are experiencing situational depression?
If you think you may be experiencing situational depression, there are some steps you can take to get help.
-Talk to your doctor. Your doctor can help determine if you’re experiencing situational depression and may prescribe medication, therapy, or a combination of both.
-Seek counseling. Counseling can help you deal with the emotions you’re feeling and teach you coping mechanisms.
-Talk to a friend or family member. Talking to someone who listens and understands is one way to help you manage your feelings.
If you are experiencing situational depression, it is important to seek help. Attempting to ignore the problem will only make it worse. There are many resources available to you, and you don’t have to face your depression alone.