"You are not a citizen of this world trying to get to heaven; you are a citizen of heaven making your way through this world. "


Spiritual Wellness

A person's life can be full of negative events. The majority of those events are dealt with and put behind an individual. As Vance Havner, the legendary preacher and author, put it, "You are not a citizen of this world trying to get to heaven; you are a citizen of heaven making your way through this world. " Sometimes, however, a person can run into a situation or event that they just cannot cope with. This is when reactive depression, sometimes called situational depression, can appear.

 

Many negative events can cause reactive depression. A sudden death of a loved one or pet, a job loss or change, a divorce or relationship breakup, and even an unexpected rejection can all cause depression to occur.

 

Reactive depression can also appear after a long-time stressor becomes too hard to deal with anymore. For instance, if a boss is constantly belittling his employee and adding stress to that employee's workday on a consistent basis, then eventually the employee may develop depression. It may suddenly occur after one wrong word or one wrong look. It doesn't have to be an extremely negative situation that becomes too much. As the saying goes, it can be the straw that broke the camel's back.

 

Everyone is susceptible to suffering from reactive depression, regardless of genetics, location, age, or gender. Even if you have never suffered from any kind of depression before, you are still susceptible.

 

There are, however, people who are more likely to suffer from reactive depression in their lifetime. A person who use outside influences, like alcohol or drugs, to cope with negative events in life is more likely to be unable to cope with a huge stressor.

 

Reactive depression does not exhibit many different symptoms than other forms of depression; however, the depression will usually lift after a small duration of time (a few weeks to a few months) and people will find themselves still able to perform daily tasks required of them in their depressed state.  The biggest sign that an individual has reactive depression is that they were overcome with grief shortly after a traumatic or an upsetting occurrence and they have not been able to recover from that grief.

 

Most people find that they feel better once the strong negative emotions from the event start to lessen. This is when their coping skills reappear, and they are able to move on with their life. 

 

Other people may need to remove the stressor from their life that ignited their depression. For example, if a boss was the cause of the depression, then changing jobs and acquiring a new boss may help the individual start to feel good again.

 

If an individual is not able to feel better on their own or remove the stressor, then therapy may be of benefit to them. There are a couple forms of therapy which can help a person overcome their depression.

 

1. Interpersonal Therapy - This type of therapy is a short-term therapy that puts its focus on relationships being the key to understanding and eliminating the depression. The result is an individual with more self-esteem and the ability to deal with other people on an improved level.

 

2. Cognitive Therapy - This type of therapy helps an individual develop positive ways to view and deal with everything around them, even themselves. The result is a change in beliefs and behavior that positively affects their thinking and life.

 

Ultimately, reactive depression usually occurs from an unexpected incident that is too hard to cope with. It can also develop after a long-time stressor that becomes too hard to deal with anymore. Fortunately, reactive depression is highly treatable, and the individual can get back to their normal life within a short period of time.