Most of us have days where we feel blue or sad, but these feelings are usually short-lived and pass within a couple of days. Divorce, of course, can amplify these feelings of sadness but depression is more than just having a bad day. Clinical depression interferes with daily living and the quality of life.
Depression and divorce can go hand and hand because depression is often caused by a combination of environmental, psychological, genetic and biological factors. If you feel you are struggling with depression after your divorce, you may want to seek out professional help. A good counselor can help, and many times situational depression can be overcome without prescription drugs. In my opinion, signing on for long-term use of prescription drugs should be your last resort when dealing with any condition. If you are struggling with mild to moderate depression you may find the help you need through a home study program such as End Your Depression or through psychotherapy.
The key is to change the way you perceive things around you and focus on the positive rather than the negative. There are plenty of negative feelings, thoughts, and circumstances associated with divorce. The better you manage these negative forces, the less depressed you will be. If you have a history of depression, you might consider discussing your options with a professional. If left untreated, mild to moderate depression can lead to a major episode so don’t ignore the way you are feeling.
Signs and Symptoms
- Sad, anxious or “empty” persistent feelings.
- Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism.
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness.
- Loss of interest in activities you used to find pleasurable.
- Decreased energy and fatigue.
- Problems making decisions, difficulty concentrating or remembering details.
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping.
- Loss of appetite or overeating resulting in weight loss or gain.
- Headaches or digestive problems that don’t go away with treatment.
- Thoughts of suicide.
How You Can Help Depression after Divorce
You are going to have many of the symptoms associated with depression after divorce. These symptoms are normal and should go away in time. Even in the midst of your grief, you should be able to manage daily life and find joy and peace at times. However, if you are finding it difficult to move on, you may need additional support. Here are some tips that may help.
- Don’t wait too long to get the help you need. Check out End Your Depression to get started or talk to your doctor for alternatives.
- No matter how you feel; try to get active and exercise.
- Pursue activities you once used to enjoy.
- Break up large and overwhelming tasks into smaller ones. Set some priorities and do what you can when you can.
- Set realistic goals for yourself and take steps to meet them.
- Spend time with other people and talk to friends and family you can confide in. Avoid isolating yourself!
- Replace negative thinking with positive thoughts.
As your mood gradually improves you will begin to feel better but don’t expect to just snap out of the depression after a divorce. Healing takes time so avoid making major life decisions until you feel better. Take the time to educate yourself about the different types of depression and don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Realize that going through a divorce is one of the most stressful situations that you will ever face but try to get through the hard times by knowing that you will come out on the other side a stronger and wiser person.