Reactive depression, also known as ‘situational depression’ or ‘adjustment disorder’, is a negative mental state brought about by life events and occurrences. Many events can act as triggers for depression: relocating, bereavement, professional stress. Even a positive event, like the birth of a child, can contribute to long bouts of sadness and feeling blue. Depression is a genuine illness, not a personal shortcoming. So if you need help, ask for it. More and more research shows that making the effort to overcome depression can pay big dividends for your mental state. If depression has you in its grip, it’s time to take action. Try a course like Winning Strategies to Beat Depression to get back to being the person you want to be.
Signs and Symptoms
Reactive depression is different from clinical depression in that the downturn in mood comes about after a particular event. Symptoms such as feeling helpless, worthless, or weak can be combined with insomnia, irritability and anxiety. Sudden weight loss or weight gain can also arise. Difficulty making decisions and difficulty concentrating or remembering are other classic signs or depression. It’s also not uncommon for folks to slip back into addictive habits like drugs, alcohol or smoking. Reactive depression usually only lasts for a few months—until the patient has found new ways to cope with the setback. The good news is, reactive depression is considered highly treatable with sleep and stress management systems and psychotherapy to address the reaction to the event/events.
When to See the Doc
If you think a loved one is battling with reactive depression, keep in mind that they may be in a low-energy state and feeling helpless. They may be unlikely to seek the help they need. See what you can do to give a gentle nudge to get them to a practitioner. For yourself, keep an eye out for warning signs:
- If your symptoms are interfering with your daily life, it’s time to check in with your doctor.
- If something triggered your depression, but now it’s here to stay, that’s a sign that you may need professional help.
- If old addictions are harder to resist, that’s another sign that this may be too tough to beat it alone.
- If you’ve been self-medicating, even if it’s only with Tylenol, get to a professional.
In the meantime, take heart knowing that there are a few tricks you can try to turn that frown upside down.
The research is clear: if you want to get back on the sunny-side of life, you’ve got to take the reigns and invest in your emotional wellbeing. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to do that. We’ve listed a few here to help you get back on track, but if you’re feeling really low, get to your doctor. There’s only so much a blog can do.
We all suffer setbacks in life. There’s no way around it, and it’s often impossible to gauge how traumatic a particular event may be. But if you’re facing a landslide of bad mojo, it can be hard to keep your head above water. The good news is: you’re not alone. Depression affects millions of people every year, and there are a lot of benefits to working together to beat the blues. Consider a course in Group Therapy, which will show you how the pros battle depression, and how you can learn from others.
Know Your Enemy
The more you know about depression and how it affects your body and mind, the easier it is to defeat it. Learns the ins and outs of how reactive depression works and take back your body. Multiple factors can contribute to depression, so launch a multi-fronted offense:
Modify your diet—In the last decade, doctors have determined that much of the serotonin (the happy chemical) isn’t made all in your brain it’s made in your gut. Overhauling your diet can have a profound impact on your health and your brain chemistry. You owe it to yourself to make food your best medicine.
Meditate– Meditation has been used for centuries as a way to calm the mind and reduce stress. In recent years it’s been proven to help with anxiety, sleep disorders and decision making. You can embrace mindfulness and take some time out with a mere One Minute Meditation. By enrolling in a course, you can use the strategies you learn to ward off your next bout with reactive depression.
Positive thinking—Positive thinking always sounds too good to be true, but the research is starting to back up the idea that positivity can alter your mood. Force a smile. Count your blessings and look on the Brightside; these clichés may actually make you a happier person at the end of the day. If you need a more detailed guide on how to tap into the power of positive thinking, there’s a course for that.
Get out there—Physical exercise is now top of the doctors’ tool box for treating depression. Slide on your spandex and tie up those trainers because a bit of pavement pounding is just what your body needs to get out of dumps. No matter what level of fitness you’re at, step it up a notch and see if you don’t feel better. Make exercise a permanent fixture in your life with this five-star course on the science of getting fit.
Arm Yourself with Social Relationships
Modern life makes it impossible to prevent the events that can trigger reactive depression. As we become more globalized—traveling for work or moving for love—we become increasingly isolated from the family and community networks we need for support. If you’re not proactive about rebuilding your community ties, you’re going to end up in a funk. It takes more than a few witty posts on Facebook to feel genuinely connected, so you’ve got to make quality relationships with locals you can depend on. Get practiced at building a familial and professional network, so you have the support you need to succeed.
At the end of the day, reactive depression is a serious and potentially debilitating condition. It’s not going to go away on its own. That’s why it’s important to take action. The more you do to change your outlook, the more likely you are to succeed. Invest in yourself, because the world awaits the real you.