Exogenous depression

Exogenous Depression

Exogenous depression, also known as reactive depression, is a type of depression that occurs in response to external precipitating events, such as a new job, marital or family problems, or the death of a loved one.

Exogenous depression occurs in the context of external circumstances, and the depressive symptoms are reactive and brief in duration. While the diagnosis of depression or any other mental health issue can and should only be given by a mental health professional, exogenous depression can be identified by the following signs and symptoms:

  • Changes in appetite and/or weight
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Lethargy and fatigue
  • Low self-esteem, worthlessness, and hopelessness
  • Decreased concentration and/or indecisiveness
  • Heightened irritability and/or frequent crying
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Depending on the length of time and severity of symptoms, an exogenous depression may require treatment. Therapy is an effective intervention for the management of depression symptoms, since it helps clients to explore underlying feelings, deal with difficult issues, and develop coping skills. Medication may also be necessary to help alleviate symptoms, but the ultimate goal is to identify the causal element that is triggering the depressive reaction and work to correct the problem.

Exogenous depression can be managed, but it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms as soon as possible, so a person can seek help. Therapy is often the most effective way to treat depression, and sometimes medication may be necessary in order to ease symptoms. With the right professional help and support, someone can overcome exogenous depression and learn to navigate life’s challenges without falling into a depression.