Reactive depression: what is it, the symptoms, treatment

Reactive depression is a type of depression that, unlike the endogenous form, develops as a result of severe psychological trauma or the constant impact of stresses of a lighter nature for a certain amount of time. With a reactive form, the patient's condition is usually stably suppressed, and it can be extremely difficult.

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What is it?

Depression has several different forms that differ for reasons of their provoking, the nature of the course, severity, the presence of other disorders. Reactive depression is one of the common forms, it usually occurs as a result of external facto

rs, it develops quite quickly, almost immediately after a psychological trauma. This form of the disease can arise at any age, it does not depend on sex and other characteristics.

On the development of the disease, in addition to the traumatic situation, the state of human health in general, genetic predisposition to disorders of this kind can affect. The most common factors provoking reactive depression include events such as the death of a loved one, getting into an extreme situation that threatens life and health. To develop a reactive depressive disorder may be due to a constant stressful stress situation at work or school, in case of job loss.

The most common variant of the disease is reactive depression with moderately expressed psychopathological symptoms. Depending on the severity of the manifestations of this disease, various treatment options can be prescribed: from simple psychotherapy with a minimal amount of drugs to a full hospitalization and sufficiently heavy medicines.

The ICD-10 code for depressive disorders F30 - F39.In most cases, psychiatric illnesses are referred to by the ICD codes, without mentioning the disease itself.

Important! In the diagnosis of depression, a differential approach is extremely important, since depressive phases occur in other disorders, which in this case have a completely different origin and developmental mechanisms.

Reactive depression in children and adolescents

The reactive form of the disorder is quite common in childhood and adolescence. Usually the development of the disease is affected by problems in school and at home. If parents suppress their child, they do not use the most positive methods of upbringing, the family is unsuccessful, the probability of occurrence of the disease increases.

In school, this form of depression can arise because of problems with teachers, excessive loads, to which the child is not ready, in the presence of conflict situations with other students.

A child with reactive depression can give the impression of being extremely ill-mannered, lazy, aggressive. In children, the symptomatology of the disease is manifested a little more pronounced than in adults. Children often need more help from a psychotherapist to fight a depressed state.

Important! It should also be borne in mind that psychological trauma in childhood can be a factor in the development of various psychiatric disorders in adulthood.

Symptoms of

When diagnosing, it is common to note the presence of the following signs of a disorder. They should be more or less present all, while they may be of different degrees of severity.

  1. Symptoms of shock reaction. These may include anxiety, sometimes without expressed reasons, the rapid development of phobias, mutism, a constant sense of fear. There may be motor retardation or vice versa, a constant movement, tics. This condition can persist for several weeks.
  2. Then the second stage of depression develops. Usually there is increased tearfulness, constant strong fatigue, irritability. Anxiety and constant fear remain, in severe stages suicidal thoughts and inclinations develop, sometimes auditory hallucinations occur. With depression, self-esteem falls, thoughts of own uselessness arise. Disturbed sleep and appetite.

These are the main symptoms of this disease. In addition, patients with reactive depression can constantly scroll in their mind memories of the traumatic events that have occurred. Patients may experience feelings of guilt, regret, invent ways that would help to avoid the negative situation, its consequences. Thoughts of the patient can constantly revolve around the events that led to the psychotrauma.

Important! But sometimes the psychological trauma itself is not fixed in the memory of the patient, so the help of the therapist is required to restore traumatic events in memory and work them out.

Differential diagnosis is also commonly used, since similar symptoms can occur in other mental disorders. This requires consultation with a neurologist, conducting various tests and interviews, monitoring the patient's condition for a certain length of time.

How to treat?

Various methods of correction are used for therapy. With severe psychological trauma, therapy with a therapist is usually required. It is important to work out a trauma, to understand yourself, working with a therapist will help get rid of fixation on the experience, choose the ways to solve the problem.

If the condition is extremely severe, various medications can be prescribed that help to remove the underlying symptoms of depression.

  1. Various tranquilizers are commonly used, for example, diazepam, phenosepam, atarax, and others. The medicine is selected depending on the severity of the symptoms.
  2. Antidepressants may be used, for example, fluoxetine. Such drugs can adversely affect the body with irrational admission, so appoints them exclusively as a doctor.

In the presence of suicide attempts or extremely intense suicidal thoughts, hospitalization and hospital stay may be required. However, in most cases with reactive depression, the symptoms begin to disappear when the therapist is working properly. Also a good result helps to achieve combined treatment methods.

Reactive depression treatment


To insure against this disorder is extremely difficult, because it is impossible to completely avoid stressful situations that can hurt the psyche. However, stresses tend to accumulate, so if you get into a situation or environment that negatively affects the psyche, you need to get out of them urgently, for example, to change your place of work if there is a negative situation.

You also need to deal with the consequences of stress in a timely manner, do not suppress aggression, anger, resentment. It is necessary to be able to release negative experiences, it is necessary to choose suitable methods of work with stresses.

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