Reviewed by Whitney White, MS CMHC, NCC., LPC
Not every relationship is going to be able to stand the test of time. Some people wind up getting married early on in life, and then they might discover that they’re completely different people. Other times, you might simply grow apart due to changing ideas, desires, goals, and any number of other things. Divorce rates in America are quite high, and it can be disconcerting to lose a relationship with someone you love very much. However, it’s also sometimes healthier for you to leave a relationship if things just aren’t working out.
If you’re going through a divorce right now, then you might be having some problems with depression. It’s normal to go through what is known as “divorce depression” when you’re still getting used to things. In fact, many people cope with divorce depression for years after they have gotten divorced. Everyone has their own struggles, and your issues with depression might be more severe than other people you know who went through a divorce. You just need to know that it’s possible to get through this tumultuous time in your life if you have the right coping mechanisms.
Read on to learn about what you can do when you’re going through divorce depression. It should help you to figure out how you can best cope with these changes in your life. Most of this advice will be very practical, whether you have been divorced for a while or if you’re going through the divorce process right now.
Turn to Your Support System
Depression after divorce is very normal, but that doesn’t make it easy to cope with it. One of the best things that you can do for yourself is to turn to your support system. Everyone should have a support system that they can rely on when they’re feeling down. You might just need to vent to someone you can trust when you’re having a tough day. It’s also possible that you could use some advice from a trusted family member who has been through similar experiences in the past.
When you have a strong support system that you can count on, it will help you get through depression issues. Never hesitate to call, text, or otherwise chat with friends or family members. When you’re feeling down, they’re going to be able to lift you back up so that you can feel good again. When you’re feeling depressed, it makes sense to take whatever steps you can to feel better. Your support system will work to help you, no matter what type of depression you’re going through.
You can also try to be there for your friends and family members when they’re having problems. Ideally, you should form bonds with people you love to be there for each other. People who have close connections like this usually have an easier time coping with mental health struggles. Anxiety and depression can be tough to deal with alone, but they feel more manageable when you know that you aren’t by yourself.
Staying active is good when you want to get through divorce depression. You might have heard in the past that exercise is perfect for helping to alleviate depression symptoms. Exercising can be considered a type of natural antidepressant, and it’s very effective at helping to boost your mood. Spending a bit of time exercising each day should put you in a much better place mentally. You don’t have to exercise all the time to enjoy this mood boost either, and you should try to come up with a modest exercise routine that you can handle.
You could even combine this fitness idea by spending some time with your friends or family members. Join a yoga class with your best friend or take up kickboxing with a buddy. There are lots of ways that you can stay in shape while boosting your mood. The increase in your self-confidence is going to be well worth it, too. It’ll help you out when you start to think about dating again.
Focus on Hobbies
Hobbies are so good for helping you to get through a tough divorce. These are going to be things that you can turn to when you’re feeling down about everything. Some people like gardening, while others will be more into playing sports. It doesn’t matter what you do for a hobby, so long as you enjoy it. It’ll help you feel more positive about life, and you’ll even be able to work on personal goals if you have specific types of hobbies.
This is basically about using your hobbies as a way to relieve stress. Divorce can be a stressful period of time in your life. If you don’t have positive outlets that help you reduce your stress levels, it will be harder not to feel depressed. Think about what types of hobbies will appeal to you so that you can start focusing on them.
Wait to Start Dating for A While
Some recently divorced individuals make the mistake of dating right away. This can delay the processing of what happened in your past relationship. It’s helpful to take time to fully process your divorce before you start dating. Some people will be ready to move on and start dating again sooner than others. Taking things at comfortable pace that isn’t rushed is beneficial.
Be There for Your Kids
One potential issue that can make divorce more complex. This can potentially make it so that your kids will be put in a rough position due to the divorce.
It’s not easy to push through depression but being there for your kids is important. Do your best to assure them that you love them very much and that everything will be okay. Working with your ex-spouse to coordinate parenting and visits is important and is a great goal to have. This may not always be possible, though. In situations where abuse occurred or if you simply aren’t able to communicate with your ex-spouse well, there are alternatives. You might consider talking with a therapist to create a parenting plan, or you may have a friend or family member coordinate visits and other things with them so that you’re able to manage your own emotions healthily.
Divorce can be a big change for the adults and for the kids in a family. Sometimes parents have a tendency to shield children from the changes happening but sharing with the kids in an age-appropriate way about what is going on can help them learn how things will be. It can be helpful to children to see that their feelings are valid and normal from watching you express emotions and discuss them in a kid-appropriate way.
Seeking Help for Depression
Seeking help for depression is a good idea, and many people need assistance with depression issues. Millions of Americans cope with depression. If you’re not sure whether your depression issues are bad enough to warrant going to the doctor or a therapist, taking this depression test may help you put your depression symptoms into perspective to make healthy decisions for yourself.
It’s advisable to make an appointment with your doctor or a therapist so that you can talk about what you’re going through. A diagnosis can help set you on the path to obtaining therapy or medication or both which can help you manage depression.
Therapy is often used to help those with depression issues. It can be a great way to help people to work through complicated feelings related to divorce. You might have many fears, anxieties, and issues with everything that you have gone through recently.
Therapists are also great at helping you to develop coping mechanisms for depression. Even just having to talk to about divorce depression can make a difference in your life. It’s easy to reach out to a therapist for help when you’re in need. Many people are even starting to take advantage of online therapy options due to how convenient and readily available it is. Work with your doctor and your therapist to consider the depression treatment options that are right for you to start feeling like yourself again.