Depression Stemming From Divorce
Copyright © 2009 StraightDivorce.com
When couples go through a divorce it’s very common to see one or the other suffering with a bout of depression. Even if a person wants the divorce, when the reality of starting over sets in, that person can get thrown into a period of despair. And when the person doesn’t want the divorce, many times their esteem is greatly affected, causing them to go into a deep depression. For some it’s a sense of failure, and for others it’s simply the uncertainty of what lay ahead.
Divorce Is a Difficult Experience
Regardless of the situation, when a marriage ends, it can almost be compared to a death because in reality it is the loss of a loved one. And when something dies, there is a period of mourning. The person you were married to has been part of your life for quite a while and now it’s over. It’s certainly understandable that you would feel sad and scared, since many of your dreams were tied up in the marriage. You might even be thinking that you’ll never love again or that no one will ever love you. Maybe you’re thinking that it was all your fault. Whatever thoughts and feelings you have, they are natural feelings.
What You May Be Feeling During the Divorce Process
If you’re not sure about your feelings and whether you are experiencing depression, there are some particular symptoms that are good indicators as to whether you are dealing with depression. You might be finding that you are unable to sleep or perhaps in contrast sleeping more than usual. Perhaps you are feeling deep fatigue or unusual aches and pains. Some people find themselves overeating or drinking alcohol excessively to mask the pain. Still others seem very angry or irritable, or perhaps you are feeling restless, something you don’t often feel. Most of these feelings are very normal for someone struggling with a divorce. It’s when the feelings don’t pass or if you are feeling worthless or have recurrent thoughts of dying that you should reach out for help. Sometimes, for a short while, you might want to have a professional help you through the rough patch.
Don’t be Ashamed or Afraid to Ask For Help
Divorce is one of the most difficult things a person can go through and so if you’re having a hard time, never be ashamed or afraid to ask for help. You wouldn’t hesitate to accept the love and support of friends or professionals if you were dealing with the death of a loved one, so you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help when going through a divorce. Don’t feel uncomfortable to ask. Besides, more than likely the bad feelings won’t last forever, so why suffer if there’s help available.
Pay Attention to the Good Things in Your Life
It may sound cliché but in truth, if you look around at the good things you have in life, you’ll find that there’s a great deal to be thankful for. I don’t mean to sound like Pollyanna, but pay attention to the beauty in your life and watch it expand. Give thanks for your health, your family, your friends and your work. Make it your job every day to look for and find some joy in life and watch how the joyful things get bigger and bigger. Go out and have a cup of coffee and meet new people. Pay attention to the smiles on people’s faces and acknowledge them when they smile at you. Go to the bookstore and get a great book that is optimistic and encouraging. Invite a friend to see a good movie. Take a class at the local college. Watch a beautiful sunrise or sunset. Volunteer in a place that gives you a clearer perspective on your situation. Just try to be involved in life because there’s so much that can be enjoyed.
Put Away Past Memories
It may take a little extra courage, but if there’s anything that reminds you of your marriage and it makes you feel more depressed, put it away or get rid of it. Change your bedroom around and put away old pictures of shared experiences with your ex-spouse. Take off your wedding band and start seeing yourself as an attractive, single person. If you start to notice that you’re feeling blue, give yourself a little pep talk and tell yourself that you are making the decision to be happy….no matter what. Truly happy people choose to be happy. If you find that you’re unable to smile, give yourself 15 minutes to wallow in the pain and then tell yourself to stop. As time passes, you’ll see that the anguish is less and less. Keep in mind, that as sad as you might feel today, you won’t always feel this way. It truly isn’t the end of life, but could instead be the beginning. Yes, there is pain, and I’m not trying to minimize it, but as time moves on, you’ll discover one day that a full day passed without you thinking about your marriage or the divorce. And before you know it, you’ll be finding new things to enjoy and new people to love. One day, you might even be able to see that the divorce was probably the best thing that ever happened to you.