5 Signs Of Situational Depression

what is situational depression

Everyone experiences sadness and grief at some point in their life. Depending on the event, these emotions may last for a few days or weeks. However, sadness that last for more than 90 days after the occurrence of a stressful event is not normal. Such a symptom may indicate the onset of situational depression. 

In most instances, situational depression is short in duration. It usually fades away about six months after the stressful event that triggered it. Situational depression is equally prevalent among males and females. However, people from different cultures may express and deal with the issue in different ways. 

What is Situational Depression?

Situational depression is also known as adjustment disorder or stress response syndrome. It is a type of depression that is specifically associated with stress. Unlike major depression which may not have a definite “cause,” situational depression is triggered by a specific stimulus that is both external and stressful. It is important to note that situational depression is not considered to be a clinical disorder.

Some of the symptoms of situational depression overlap with clinical depression. However, as situational depression tends to have a shorter duration, it does not have the same intense physical and emotional symptoms. Nevertheless, situational depression can interfere with your ability to function from day to day. To learn more about the signs and symptoms of this type of depression, keep on reading.

1. Feelings Of Low Mood And Sadness

Low mood is an emotional state identified by sadness, apprehension, nervousness, low self-esteem, lethargy, and frustration. In severe cases, it becomes an ongoing problem that negatively influences your daily routine.

Feelings of low mood associated with situational depression can be brought on by factors such as stress at school, feelings of prolonged stagnation, adjustment at work, a health crisis, and the like. When you experience these types of issues, it is beneficial to talk to a trusted person about the things you are currently going through. If you happen to be a residing in central Florida, you may reach out to psychiatrists in the Orlando area.

2. Feelings of Hopelessness

Hopelessness is another common sign of situational depression. It is a crucial emotion that produces dark or low moods and may negatively influence the way you view yourself, the people around you, your circumstances, and your future. Hopelessness may darken your entire worldview.  This emotion often stems from feelings of helplessness, abandonment, imprisonment, or isolation.

Hopeless feelings promote hopeless thoughts. If you are caught in this downward spiral, you may have a hard time getting out of it. When affected by feelings of hopelessness, you may feel that it is impossible to resolve the issues that are affecting you.

3. Inability to Concentrate

Under normal circumstances, loss of concentration may be viewed as a mild annoyance. It is often easily rectified by paying more than the usual attention to the subject matter at hand. However, if you have situational depression, loss of concentration is more frequent and may be viewed much more seriously. It may even lead to the derailment of other mental capacities and make you feel even worse.

Of course, you may need to make adjustments in your daily routine if you are unable to concentrate on the tasks in front of you. For example, it may be a good idea to take advantage of assistance from other people in your group or team. You can also delay or delegate tasks until you are better able to focus on them. 

4. Lack of Motivation

Lack of motivation, commonly referred to as avolition, is the inability to start, keep up with, or accomplish tasks. It is linked with an imbalance in the brain chemicals that are responsible for emotion and behavior. Some researchers believe that inadequate dopamine production prompts avolition. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps you to feel satisfied when you accomplish something.

When you encounter a dopamine shortage, you may feel less driven to perform tasks. You may not attempt to do anything if you believe you will not be rewarded for it. 

People with situational depression may experience a shortage of dopamine. As a result, they may find it difficult to fulfill even their most basic responsibilities such as wiping the floor, doing laundry, or engaging in self-care. They may not even attempt certain tasks because they may believe they will not be rewarded for it. Unfortunately, a lack of motivation may make it difficult for these individuals to seek help and connection from other people. Consequently, it may delay the start of treatment and hinder recovery.

5. Suicidal Ideation

A person who is diagnosed with situational depression may feel as if he has less control over his personal affairs. He may also feel hopeless and reason that his life serves no purpose. This may be particularly true of individuals who have recently experienced the death of a loved one, divorce, or the loss of a job. Individuals with these thoughts and emotions are more likely to consider suicide.

Suicidal ideation and suicide are becoming more prevalent in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that suicide has reached its peak rate since 1999, with half of the country showing more than a 30% increase. If you have suicidal thoughts, speaking to a counselor can help you to regain your cognitive and emotional balance. A trained therapist can also help you to find healthy ways to cope with or resolve the concerns you currently have.