Relocation Depression: Can Relocating Affect Your Mental Health?

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Moving on to a new place can be full of mixed emotions. One day, you might feel excited about new experiences and one day you might feel stressed! Well, if you have relocated, you might understand the feeling when you are open to new experiences but you don’t want to leave your comfort place.

Leaving your space and relocating to a different city, state, or country can be stressful because it takes a lot of time to find comfort in the new place and adjust to a new city with new workplace, college, friends, neighbors, and more! Some people get through this transition phase easily but in some, it can trigger constant feelings of sadness or depression.

This type of specific depression is referred to as relocation depression. In this blog, we will be taking a deep look at what is relocation depression and how to deal with it. So, let’s get started!

What is Relocation Depression?

Relocation depression is an informal term and can also be referred to as adjustment disorder. relocation depression is caused by moving to a different city. As of now, it’s not part of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder 5th Edition Text Revision (DSM-5-TR). Generally, relocation depression usually resolves on its own, research shows that the timeline for adjustment disorder must be within 6 months, if the symptoms continue, it falls in the category of clinical depression.

The anxiety associated with moving on or transitioning can trigger emotional symptoms but they can be temporary once you start adjusting to the new place. Research shows that older adults and children are more prone to relocation depression. Generally, feelings of sadness or emptiness are not counted under the diagnosis of clinical depression. In order to be diagnosed with relocation depression, symptoms must be interrupting the overall quality of life.

Is It Clinical Depression or Situational Depression?

Many of you might’ve questioned, how relocation depression is different from clinical depression or situational depression? In order to understand this, let me first clarify some basics. It’s quite a normal feeling to feel sadness or emptiness while shifting to a new location, if you’re feeling sad during the transition phase, please note that it necessarily does not mean that you have a depressive disorder or relocation disorder.

However, if the symptoms are persistent and they are interrupting the overall quality of your life for more than 6 months, you might consider getting a diagnosis for depression. In order to differentiate between sadness and depression, it’s important to know that the symptoms of depression are persistent and they should be negatively impacting your multiple aspects of life or regular functioning.

If you’re struggling with full-blown relocation depression or transition blues, you can still speak to a mental health professional to get a proper diagnosis and learn healthy coping techniques.

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Many of you asked, how to identify situational, clinical, and relocation depression, you can use the below check-list to differentiate:

Symptoms of relocation depression generally resolve within 6 months after relocation or transition phase.
Relocation depression is triggered by moving on or transitioning to a new place
If the relocation depression persists for more than 6 months, the affected individual must connect with a mental health professional for the right diagnosis and treatment.
Situational depression is caused by specific stressors, meanwhile, relocation depression is caused by moving in, and clinical depression does not reveal any exact cause.

Who’s at the Risk of Developing Relocation Depression?

Generally, children and adults are at higher risk of developing relocation depression. Research shows that anyone can develop clinical depression due to possible reasons:

Genetics: If you have a family history of mental health issues or depression, you might be prone to developing clinical depression.
Identity: If you belong to the LGBTQIA+ community, you might be at a higher risk of developing depression.
Physical illness: If you are struggling with chronic physical illness such as cancer or heart disease, you might be at a higher risk of developing depression.
Substance misuse: If you’re into substance abuse or addictions, you’re likely to have depression.

Risk factors for depressive disorders include:

Young age
Being single
Students
Lower education
Coming from an urban area

What are the Symptoms of Relocation Depression?

The symptoms of relocation depression are similar to common symptoms of depression. Below listed are some of the common symptoms of depression:

Extreme anger or irritability
Extreme changes in the appetite
Extreme changes in sleeping pattern
Feelings of numbness, hopelessness, or sadness
Lack of concentration
Loss of interest
Physical pain
Reduced social interactions
Suicidal ideation or self-harm

What are the Causes of Relocation Depression?

Generally, relocation depression can be caused by several reasons, such as:

Disruption of routine
Feeling empty or far away from friends, family members, or loved ones
Feeling exhausted
Feeling uncertain
Increased financial burden
Loss of social connections
Underlying mental health condition

Treating Relocation Depression

If you think you or your loved one might be struggling with relocation depression or other depressive disorders, it’s important to connect with a mental health professional to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.

In order to be diagnosed with depression, you must have the following:

Symptoms associated with depression for more than 6 months
Symptoms must be interrupting your overall quality of life
Symptoms must not only be limited to feelings of sadness or emptiness

Below are some of the effective treatment options for relocation depression

1.Medications

There are various medications used to treat different types of depression. Generally, antidepressants are prescribed to treat medications by a professional.

2.Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy or talk therapy is an effective treatment option for overcoming depression. Usually, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic therapy are prescribed for treating depression as they help in discussing problematic thoughts, experiences, and emotions. Additionally, it teaches healthy coping skills.

To learn more, refer to:

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
Psychodynamic therapy

Quick Takeaway: Self-Help Strategies to Overcome Relocation Depression

Below listed are some quick and effective self-help strategies to overcome relocation depression:

Focus on getting quality sleep each night
Try to have more nutritious and balanced meals for proper functioning
Keep yourself activated throughout the day
Practice mindfulness-based meditation techniques to boost your mood
Write down your thoughts in a journal
Engage yourself in activities that interest you
Avoid alcohol and substance use
Stay connected with your loved one
Try to create new and positive connections
Create a routine to gain stability again
Make your new place a comfortable place to be
Unlearn to suppress your emotions and openly talk about your feelings with your friends, relatives, or loved ones
Try deep breathing exercises
Practice affirmations for overcoming depression

I hope this blog helps you understand relocation depression and how to deal with it. For more such content, connect with us through all social media platforms.

Thanks for reading!

The post Relocation Depression: Can Relocating Affect Your Mental Health? appeared first on Calm Sage – Your Guide to Mental and Emotional Well-being.

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