Reactive depression is known as an adjustment disorder, meaning it develops because of a specific, psychological stressor in our lives. Symptoms generally do not last longer than six months if treated, and if the symptoms worsen and become major depression, then the diagnosis of reactive depression no longer fits.
Reactive depression is usually precipitated by a stressful situation, such as a death of a loved one, a birth of a baby, or continuing harassment at work. The depressed person generally develops coping skills as he deals with the stressful or traumatic event in his life, unlike other forms of depression.
Mirrors Clinical Depression Symptoms
Reactive depression most closely mirrors clinical depression, in that you may feel miserable without comprehending the reason, and that you feel hopeless and do not a foreseeable future. Especially with stressful events, you may feel like your life has become overwhelming or that nothing in your life is fair, and that you have become a burden to others.
Symptoms may last anywhere from a few weeks to upwards of six months, depending if the traumatic event is still occurring in your life.
Monitor Mood Changes
As you begin your recovery from reactive depression, you must track your mood changes because if you can catch yourself sliding, it is easier to correct a depressed mood near the beginning, than when you have slid down the black hole.
Analyse which things in your life are causing you stress and making you depressed. For example, if it is harassment at work, you might consider switching jobs as an option. Sometimes, just having a choice will make you feel more empowered and optimistic.
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