Situational depression involves symptoms of depression that are connected to stress. It is not a recognized clinical disorder but is an informal term used to describe what may be more formally diagnosed as a type of adjustment disorder.
These feelings of depression are generally triggered by a traumatic event, sudden stress, or major life change. Triggers can include such things as a serious accident, divorce, job loss, or death of a loved one.
Symptoms of situational depression include:
- Lack of motivation
- Loss of pleasure
- Withdrawing from normal activities
- Loneliness or social isolation
- Feelings of low mood and sadness
- Tearfulness; frequent bouts of crying
- Poor concentration
- Thoughts of suicide
After a difficult life event, whether it is a change in a relationship, the loss of your job, or the death of a loved one, the stress of the situation can reason you to feel sad, helpless, apathetic, lost, irritable, or even hopeless. You might cry frequently, feel listless and unable to focus or find yourself unable to cope with normal, day-to-day tasks.
Situational depression begins after some sort of major life change or trauma. Some of the events that may trigger the onset of this form of depression include:
- Job loss
- Financial problems
- Unstable employment
- Unstable living situation
- Death of a loved one
- Relationship problems
- Serious accidents
- Natural disasters
- Social issues at home, school, or work
Talking to your doctor can help determine whether you have situational depression. Fortunately, effective treatments can help you manage your symptoms. These often involve treating the symptoms as well as addressing the stressor that triggered these feelings. Once the stressor has been dealt with, people will begin to adjust and cope as symptoms subside.
Situational depression can be a common and natural reaction to a very stressful or traumatic event. The symptoms are generally short-term and start to improve as:
- Time passes
- The individual recovers
- The condition improves