Depression after divorce is a very real phenomenon. It can feel like the world is ending, and it’s hard to see any way through the darkness. But the truth is, you can heal from depression after divorce, and you will come out stronger on the other side. In this blog post, we will discuss how to cope with depression after divorce and start on the path to healing. Read on to find out how you can overcome your own divorce depression.
- 1 What Is Depression After Divorce?
- 2 Life After Divorce
- 3 Symptoms
- 4 Causes
- 5 Consequences
- 6 How To Treat It?
- 6.1 Consult A Mental Health Care Provider
- 6.2 Medications
- 6.3 Psychotherapy
- 6.4 Habits And Lifestyle Changes
- 7 Conclusion
- 8 A Word From Mantra Care
What Is Depression After Divorce?
Traumatic life events, such as depression due to divorce, are different from clinical depression. It is called an adjustment disorder or depression. Divorce depression can occur in individuals who are going through or have recently gone through a divorce. It is not uncommon for people to experience some degree of sadness, anxiety, or low mood following divorce, but when these feelings persist and interfere with everyday life, they may be indicative of divorce depression.
Life After Divorce
Divorce means the end of the marriage and the possible loss of a one-way relationship. Problems with a divorce that lead to an increase in depression include financial problems and a relative lack of personal support. Life after divorce can be difficult. Sometimes people go through painful stages during a divorce. If children are involved, it can be even more challenging. Things like telling your children about divorce can be a very difficult time and can lead to depression. It can take from a few weeks to several years to live after the divorce. You can experience many emotions during this time. You may be more receptive.
Depression during or after a divorce can range from an empty, sad, or hopeless mood to changes in your mindset, behavior, and certain aspects of your life. If the divorce is caused by an adjustment disorder, one or more of the following symptoms may occur:
- Feeling sad or desperate
- Disconnect from friends, family, and others
- Trembling, shocking, and impulsive behavior
- Symptoms of nervousness or tension
- A hopeless or pessimistic outlook on life
- The feeling of constant sadness, emptiness, or anxiety
- Low interest in his hobbies and passions
- Understand that you are guilty, worthless, or unable to help
- Difficulty focusing on specific tasks or remembering information
- Decreased decision-making ability
- Changes in appetite and/or weight
- Cramps, aches, headaches, and other unexplained types of pain and discomfort
- Sleep problems such as insomnia (difficulty sleeping) or hypersomnia (excessive sleep)
- Suicidal ideation
It is important to note that men and women experience depression differently. Depression in women is often referred to as sadness, worthlessness, and guilt. Symptoms of depression in men include irritability and difficulty sleeping due to excessive alcohol or drug use. In general, women are more likely to suffer from depression after a divorce than men. However, men are less likely to talk openly about their depression.
It is not uncommon for people to experience depression after a divorce. The loss of a relationship causes depression after divorce as it is a major life change. The process of divorce can be very stressful. Several factors cause depression after divorce:
- One key factor is often a change in lifestyle. The change in lifestyle is a shock to the system after a divorce, you may no longer live the same life. It can be difficult to readjust and cope with these new changes. You may feel like you have lost your identity or purpose in life.
- Depression after divorce can also be caused by financial stressors such as having to move to a new home or dealing with the loss of income. Changes in your finances, living arrangements, and custody arrangements can hamper your life which makes it difficult to adjust to these changes and can lead to depression.
- The stress of single parenting can be overwhelming. There may be financial stressors, such as having to provide for a family on one income. Additionally, there may be emotional stressors, such as dealing with the challenges of co-parenting or being the only parent in the home. These stressors can lead to depression.
- After completion of a divorce, you may feel isolated and alone and thus it’s common to feel lost after a divorce. This is because you often lose contact with friends and family members who were part of your former relationship.
These are some common reasons for depression after a divorce has occurred. However, there exist some other elements as well which can result in a feeling of deep sorrow after divorce.
Other Risk Factors
Other factors that can play a role in the development of depression may be your genes, environment, and overall psychological well-being. You may be at higher risk of depression after divorce if you have a family history of depression. There are high chances of depression if you experience other significant changes in your life at the same time as you divorce, or if you have a physical condition such as heart disease, cancer, or diabetes.
Depression after divorce is a serious issue that should not be taken lightly. If you’re going through a divorce and feeling depressed, reach out for help from a therapist or counselor. You don’t have to go through this alone. The problem can lead to a number of negative consequences. Some of them are explained below:
Custody Of Children
For instance, divorce may cause you to lose custody of your children. The loss of your children’s custody may make it difficult to see them and depression may make it hard to cope with. You may feel like there remains nothing in your life and therefore depression may worsen.
Additionally, sadness after divorce may lead to financial problems. It can become hard to keep a job or earn an income. After a divorce, many people experience a drop in income. If you’re already struggling with money, depression can make it even harder to get by, and therefore depression after divorce can result in financial instability.
Depression can impact your social life. It’s common for people to withdraw from friends and family after a divorce. If you’re already dealing with such a traumatic phase, this isolation can make it even worse. You might not want to see anyone or do anything. You may feel like you’re not up for socializing, even if you used to enjoy it.
You may also start to withdraw from activities that you used to enjoy. This is because depression after divorce can lead to a loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities. This can make it difficult to find things to do that make you happy.
Sorrow after divorce can also lead to physical health problems. For example, depression may contribute to high blood pressure or heart disease as well as other chronic health problems. Depression may make it difficult to take care of yourself and increase your risk for accidents and injuries.
Addiction Of Drugs
Additionally, the gloom of divorce can lead to substance abuse such as alcohol or drugs. People may turn to substances to cope with the pain of divorce. This makes depression worse in the long run and you may find yourself in a downward spiral.
Divorce depression may lead to many serious mental health problems as well such as anxiety disorders, insomnia, and even suicidal thoughts. These ailments can further complicate your life and make it hard to cope with depression which can feel like it’s never-ending.
Loss Of Zeal
In addition, shock after divorce may cause you to lose motivation and energy, making it hard to get out of bed or accomplish tasks during the day. You lose the zeal to do things you once enjoyed. These symptoms can last for weeks, months, or even years if left untreated.
The above mentioned are the negative impacts of depression after the divorce which if not treated well on time may further make more complications on good health and life.
How To Treat It?
Divorce is chaotic as well as emotional. However, there are ways to treat depression after divorce. Some common types of treatments are explained below:
Consult A Mental Health Care Provider
If you’re depressed after a divorce, one of the best things you can do is talk to a mental health care provider. He can be anyone including a therapist, psychologist, counselor, physician, or depression support group. The depression specialist will want to know how long you have been feeling depressed, what your depression symptoms are, and how depression has impacted your life. Don’t worry about the possible stigma that seems embarrassing. Don’t even think of relatives and society, their ideologies as it’s your life and only you can find the best solution to cope with the issue. Many have gone through what you are doing and you may be surprised to know how many have asked for help.
Please note that you are not the only one struggling with depression. If you have children, divorce will certainly affect them. If they need advice, ask for their help as well. You can seek professional depression help by requesting a mental health referral from a primary care provider who can understand your situation.
Depression is often treated with medicines called antidepressants. They work by increasing the levels of natural chemicals called neurotransmitters, which are involved in treating mood and emotions.
Several types of antidepressants are used to treat depression, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and older medications such as tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). Antidepressants are effective in many people with depression, but it can take several weeks for them to take effect. You may notice your sleeping habits, appetite, and ability to concentrate before you improve your mood and emotions.
NOTE: Please consult your doctor before taking any medication as taking any prescription without consultation with a doctor is harmful to your health.
Psychotherapy or speech therapy is one of the most effective treatments for depression and other mental illnesses. Different types of therapy are used to treat depression, including post-divorce depression. These include Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Problem-Solving Therapy, and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT). As part of your therapy, you can learn new strategies for dealing with the thoughts and feelings that contribute to your depression.
Habits And Lifestyle Changes
Although healthy habits and lifestyle changes alone are not enough to treat depression, practicing continuously can have a positive effect on your mood and help you recover. Try the following habits and lifestyle changes to manage your divorce depression:
Be Physically Active
Taking part in regular exercises keeps you physically active. Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, which are natural chemicals that can improve mood. It has also been linked to improvements in brain function, which may reduce the severity of depressive symptoms. Do the regular exercises as they may have mood-boosting effects and even help reduce stress after divorce.
Eat A Healthy Diet
Eating nutritious foods helps your body to function at its best. Avoid processed foods and excessive amounts of sugar, which can worsen depression symptoms.
Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep
Depression and sleep disorders often develop at the same time. Try to follow the CDC recommendations and sleep seven hours or more in one night. Sleep deprivation can worsen symptoms of depression. aim for at least eight hours of sleep per night.
Write In A Journal
Writing in a journal can be therapeutic. It’s a way to express your thoughts and feelings without judgment. Writing can also help you to process your divorce and work through any emotions you’re experiencing.
Avoid Making Big Life Decisions
Getting married for a second time can be a stressful process that can affect your judgment. Try to wait until you feel better before making any important life decisions, such as changing careers or starting a new romantic relationship.
Focus On Gradual Improvement
Most depressive symptoms improve over time, not overnight. Focus on gradual improvement and watch for changes over several weeks, not daily.
Spend Time With Supportive People
Instead of isolating yourself, try spending time with your close friends and family. Surround yourself with loved ones who make you feel good about yourself. Avoid being around people who are negative or who constantly remind you of your divorce. These people can not only divert your attention from the symptoms of depression but are also important sources of constant support.
Do Something You Enjoy
Make time for activities that make you happy. This can be anything from reading, hiking, biking, painting, or playing an instrument. Doing things you enjoy will help lift your mood and give you a sense of accomplishment.
Avoid Alcohol And Drugs
Substance abuse can make depression worse and lead to other problems such as financial difficulties or legal trouble. If you’re struggling with addiction, get help from a treatment program.
These are some strategies to handle depression after divorce. You can choose which suits you and practice that consistently to get the desired results.
Divorce can be an emotional roller coaster ride. If you feel depressed after a divorce, you are not alone. Remember, others have already had similar feelings. Over time, they overcame their emotions and recovered from the divorce. With the right approach, you can get over depression and enjoy a happy life again. Divorce depression is difficult, but there are ways to do it. If you feel you need help, don’t be afraid to contact a trusted friend or family member to discuss how you feel. You don’t have to be lonely or ashamed of yourself. Being aware that this is the time to adjust and go through it can help you focus on yourself and bring the healing process to the forefront.
A Word From Mantra Care
Your mental health — your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
At Mantra Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can take our mental health test. You can also book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.