Reactive depression can be a very difficult thing to deal with. It can feel like you are constantly being pulled in different directions, and that you never really have a moment to yourself. When something or someone triggers your mood to shift, it can be hard to know how to react. In this blog post, we will discuss reactive depression and how to deal with it when triggers cause your mood to shift.
What Is Reactive Depression?
Many people experience what is known as reactive depression. This is a type of depression that is caused by outside factors, or triggers. These triggers can be anything from a change in environment to a stressful event. People with reactive depression, their moods can shift very quickly and without warning.
This condition is simply a variation of clinical depression and can be just as debilitating. The main difference is that reactive depression is caused by an external trigger, while clinical depression is not. It is important to understand this condition can be difficult to deal with because the triggers are often out of your control.
According to studies, it is estimated that 20-30% of people who suffer from clinical depression also have this type of depression. This means that for every ten people with clinical depression, two to three of them will also experience reactive depression. If you are struggling, then you are not alone. Seek help right away for better recovery!
How To Recognize It?
It might be hard to know if you have reactive depression because the symptoms can be similar to major depressive disorder. But here are some common symptoms of reactive depression:
- You experience a sudden mood shift in reaction to a specific event or situation.
- The mood shift is usually accompanied by intense feelings of sadness, anger, or anxiety.
- The symptoms are temporary and go away once the triggering event is over.
- You don’t have constant depressive symptoms like you would if you had a major depressive disorder.
In addition, there are some other changes in your lifestyle that comes with reactive depression, such as:
- Start to withdraw from your friends and family.
- Start to neglect your hobbies or interests.
- Sleeping patterns may change.
- Also, as changes in appetite.
- Have difficulty concentrating.
- Might also experience physical symptoms such as headaches, body aches, or fatigue.
So, these are a few things to look out for if you think you might be experiencing reactive depression. If you are concerned, it’s always best to speak to a mental health professional to get an accurate diagnosis.
What Triggers Reactive Depression?
It is not an easy task to determine the root cause of reactive depression. As this can be triggered by many things. Let’s discuss some common triggers:
- Loss: The death of a loved one, job loss, or any other type of significant loss can lead to reactive depression.
- Stress: Both chronic and acute stress can be triggers for this type of depression.
- Changes: Big changes in life, such as retirement, divorce, or moving to a new house or city, can lead to reactive depression.
- Trauma: Both physical and emotional trauma can cause reactive depression.
Determining the root cause of your reactive depression is important to develop a plan to manage it. Along with these, there are some risk factors that may make you more susceptible to developing this type of depression. These include:
- A family history of depression or other mental illness
- Chronic medical conditions
- Substance abuse
- Previous episodes of depression
So, overall, there are many potential triggers and risk factors for reactive depression. But, the good news is that there are things you can do to manage it. Hence, do not feel demotivated, we will discuss some methods to deal with reactive depression.
How Is It Different From Other Types Of Depression?
Now that we know what reactive depression is, let’s take a look at how it differs from other types of depression. Major depressive disorder, or MDD, is characterized by a low mood that lasts for two weeks or more. Reactive depression, on the other hand, is triggered by an event or series of events.
This can be anything from the death of a loved one to losing your job. The key difference is that with MDD, the low mood is not caused by an external event. With reactive depression, the low mood is a direct result of something that has happened in your life.
Another key difference is that MDD can be treated with medication and therapy. Reactive depression, on the other hand, often requires a different approach. This is because the event that triggered the depression may still be present in your life. For example, if you lose your job, it can be difficult to find another one right away. This can make it hard to treat this type of depression with medication or therapy alone.
So what can you do if you are dealing with reactive depression? Let’s discuss further the things that you might need to treat this condition.
How Is It Diagnosed?
A doctor may diagnose reactive depression after ruling out other possible causes of your symptoms. To do this, they’ll likely ask about your medical history and perform a physical exam. They may also order blood tests to check for underlying health conditions that could be causing your symptoms.
With these methods of diagnosis only, it can be difficult to determine if your low mood is a reaction to a life event or something else. To further explore whether your depression is reactive, your doctor may ask about:
- Your symptoms
- When you started experiencing them
- What kinds of events or situations seem to trigger them
- How long they last
If you’ve had symptoms for less than two months and they’re clearly linked to a stressful life event, you may be diagnosed with reactive depression. If your symptoms last longer or don’t seem to be solely related to a recent event, you may have another type of depression.
How To Treat Reactive Depression?
In some cases though, treatment may be necessary. If you find that your mood is significantly affected by triggers and you’re struggling to cope, it’s important to seek help from a professional. Some treatment options include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This type of therapy can help you to identify and challenge the negative thoughts and behaviors that are contributing to your depression. It is a short-term treatment that is typically conducted in weekly sessions.
- Exposure therapy: This type of therapy involves gradually exposing yourself to the trigger that is causing your depression. The exposure can be done in imagination or in real life, depending on what you feel comfortable with. The goal is to help you eventually stop reacting to the trigger altogether.
- Medication: In some cases, medication may be necessary to help stabilize your mood. Commonly prescribed medications for depression include antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications.
- Support groups: There are many support groups available for people with depression. These can provide a space for you to share your experiences and connect with others who understand what you’re going through.
If you think you may be struggling with reactive depression, it’s important to reach out for help. Talk to your doctor or mental health professional about what treatment options may be right for you. With the right help, it is possible to manage this type of depression and improve your overall well-being.
How To Live And Cope With Reactive depression?
Well, there is no doubt that you have to be extra careful and attentive to detail when you are suffering from reactive depression. This is because this type of depression can cause your mood to shift significantly in response to triggers.
To deal with reactive depression, it is important to be aware of your triggers and manage them accordingly. For example, if you know that certain people or situations tend to trigger your depression, then you should try to avoid them as much as possible.
It is also important to keep a positive outlook on life and to focus on the good things that are happening in your life. This will help you to cope with the negative feelings that can be associated with this type of depression. For example, you can try to spend time with friends and family, do things that you enjoy, and set goals for yourself.
Also, self-care is an essential part of managing reactive depression. This means that you should make sure to get enough sleep, eat a balanced diet, and exercise regularly. By taking care of yourself, you will be better able to cope with the negative symptoms of reactive depression.
Finally, the most important thing to cope with this depression, you should practice self-compassion because it can be really tough on yourself. So, if you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up about it, and remember that everyone makes mistakes. Just try to learn from your mistakes and move on.
If you follow these tips, then you will be able to cope with reactive depression in a much better way. With the right support and care, you can definitely overcome this condition.
In conclusion, reactive depression is a very real and serious condition that can be difficult to deal with. It can manifest itself in many different ways and can be triggered by a variety of things. However, there are treatments available that can help you manage your condition and improve your quality of life.
If you think you may be suffering from this type of depression, it is important to speak to a mental health professional who can help you get the treatment you need.
For more information and guidance please get in touch with our expert therapists at Therapy Mantra. They will be more than happy to assist you on your journey to recovery. Contact us today to learn more about our services. You can also book an online therapy session or download our free Android or iOS app.