Womens Health

Situational Depression

Adjustment disorder sounds exactly like what it really is: difficulty adjusting to some type of stress. Also known as situational depression, this short-term condition develops when the sufferer can't cope with major life stresses, such as the loss of a loved one, or loss of employment, for instance. The inability to come to terms with sudden tragedy brings on symptoms of depression such as loss of interest in daily activities, feelings of hopelessness, and feeling teary-eyed.

Possible Triggers

Situational depression differs from major depression in that it is triggered by external events. The symptoms tend to disappear once the sufferer has learned to adapt to the new situation. A variety of stressors have been linked to the development of adjustment disorder. In large measure, what triggers the disorder depends on the individual, but the following types of events have a known association to situational depression:


*Ending a relationship

*Serious illness (yourself or in someone you love)

*Death of a family member or someone you love

*Becoming a victim of a crime

*Going through an accident

*Major life changes such as marriage, birth, or retirement.

*Surviving natural or manmade disasters

Out Of Proportion

The emotional or behavioral symptoms begin to develop in response to a stressful event. The symptoms come on within a few months of the event and it is rare for the symptoms to last beyond six months of the stressful occurrence that prompted them. In this type of depression, the reaction to the stressful event seems out of proportion to what one would expect in relation to what has occurred. The symptoms may interfere with the sufferer's daily functioning. He may find it difficult to sleep, study, or work.

The symptoms of adjustment disorder can include any of the following:









*Sleep Difficulties

*Heart palpitations



*Missing work or school

*Withdrawal from friends and activities

*Destructive behavior

*Loss of appetite

*Binge eating

*Abuse of recreational drugs or alcohol

Behavioral Issues

In children and teenagers, the disorder is more likely to be characterized by behavioral issues, for instance playing hooky, fighting with peers, or acting out. Adults tend to have symptoms that are emotional in nature, for instance anxiety and sadness. The disorder is very common and can affect people of every age, race, sex, or lifestyle. There is, however, a greater tendency to this condition during times of major life transitions, for instance, with the onset of adolescence, middle-age, or with the arrival of the golden years.


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