7 Practical Tips to Cope With Divorce Depression and Moving Forward

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Marriage is a sacred relationship built on a foundation of love, trust, and commitment. Yet, divorce can fracture the foundation, leaving behind scars that not only reverberate through your heart and home, but also your well-being and self-worth. I’ve often heard people describe divorce as the “death of a marriage”, and just like any other loss, I bet it brings a range of complicated emotions. 

The end of your marriage can trigger feelings of sadness, grief, anger, and at times, even relief. For some people, divorce can be an extended form of breakup, while for others, it can be the end of a long-term partnership, which can lead to depression too. 

The aftermath of divorce is a difficult time filled with a wide array of emotions. It’s common to experience a roller coaster of feelings from loneliness and anger to resentment. Many people also feel a sense of failure or disappointment, grappling with their new normal, and shattered plans, and dreams. 

Amid all that, depression can creep in when you least expect it to. So, how can you deal with post-divorce depression? How to reassure yourself that you’ll come out from this stronger than ever? I have some tips to help you cope with divorce depression, so keep reading for them! 

What is Divorce Depression? 

Divorce depression, or post-divorce depression, is a type of clinical depression that occurs after the end of a marriage. It can be characterized by the constant feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and despair that impact your daily functioning and quality of life. 

Unlike your typical grief, which tends to fade with time, divorce depression can linger for months, even years, if left unaddressed and untreated. 

Life after divorce can be challenging for different reasons. Firstly, there’s the emotional aspect of coping with the divorce or the loss of a long-term relationship and adjusting to a new normal. You might even have feelings of rejection, abandonment, and low self-worth as you come to terms with the end of your relationship. 

Secondly, if there are kids involved, then divorce can become a bigger hurdle than ever. Talking to your kids about separation can be hard enough as it is, and because of that, it can even trigger depressive feelings and symptoms. 

The period between filing for the divorce and the hearing can be traumatic for many people too. There are times of adjusting and experiencing a sense of loss. Social support here plays a huge role in helping people overcome these feelings. 

What Are the Signs of Divorce Depression? 

Knowing the signs of divorce depression can be helpful when it comes to seeking help from either a professional or getting support from your loved ones. Here are some common signs of post-divorce depression; 

Constant feelings of sadness
Loss of interest in your once-enjoyable activities
Changes in appetite or weight 
Symptoms of insomnia or oversleeping 
Feeling fatigued and low on energy 
Feelings of worthlessness and/or guilt 
Difficulty concentrating and/or making decisions 
Feelings of anxiety and irritability 
Uncontrollable crying 
Thoughts of suicide or self-harm 

The Psychological Effects of Divorce

Studies over the years have shown that divorce can have a profound psychological impact on your health and well-being, often causing long-term emotional distress. Studies have even found that divorced people are at a higher risk of developing symptoms of depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse problems, compared to married couples. 

Moreover, divorce can impact your self-esteem, interpersonal relationships, and even your overall life satisfaction levels. Divorce can even take away your confidence and make you doubt your ability to be in a happy relationship. The ripple effects of divorce can extend beyond the couple, too. It can affect children of divorced parents, family dynamics, and social connections. 

Coping With Divorce Depression… 

So, how to move forward in life after divorce? How to cope with post-divorce depression? Here are some practical tips to help you manage depression after divorce; 

1. Allow Yourself to Feel 

The first thing to do to cope with divorce depression is to accept the reality and allow yourself to feel all the emotions you’re feeling. Do not suppress your emotions or leave them to deal with later on. Acknowledge them, express them, and move to the next step. 

2. Reach Out for Social Support 

It’s OK to lean on your friends, family, or even a counselor for support. Anyone who can offer you a listening ear and guidance can be a good person to reach out to for support. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone in person, call them or text them. Just allow yourself to open up about your feelings. 

3. Take Care of Yourself 

Do not neglect your health as you work on coping with depression after divorce. Try to engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. There’s no pressure on you to bounce back into your normal routine – it’s OK to take time for yourself. Eat well, sleep well, and heal. That’s all you need to do. 

4. Find The Positives in it All 

Do grieve for your relationship, but don’t grieve too much about who you were in the marriage. Try to find the good aspects of your marriage and yourself when you’re managing life after divorce. Remind yourself of your strengths, the good times, and the future you’ve planned. Be in control of your narrative. 

5. Be Kind to Yourself 

When someone makes us question our self-worth, the first thing we do is self-criticize. If that’s what’s happening to you, then replace your critical thinking with compassion. If thoughts of self-blame pop-up, turn them around to thoughts of self-love. Treat yourself with kind words and compassion – just as you would with a friend. 

6. Make a Routine And Follow It 

Another way to cope with divorce depression is to make a routine and follow it, diligently. Having a set routine can help you focus on moving forward instead of feeling stuck in one place. You can also engage in some coping skills such as meditation, yoga, or relaxation activities to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress. 

7. Stay Connected 

Even though your life might take a turn after divorce, it doesn’t mean your social life is over. Work on yourself – your boundaries, needs, and dreams – and keep connecting with new people. Staying connected with others will help you feel less lonely and more confident. And who knows? Maybe you’ll meet a new friend or a potential partner, once more! 

Getting Help… 

While self-help can help you move forward and cope with feelings of depression, you can consider seeking professional help and support if the feelings of depression persist for over two weeks. Treatment for post-divorce depression can involve therapy, medications, or a mix of both. 1 (CBT) can be effective in treating depressive symptoms, so talk to your mental healthcare professional about that if it helps. 

Wrap Up… 

Coping with divorce depression can be challenging, indeed. But, it’s important to remember that time heals all wounds. With a little support from loved ones, time to take care of your needs, and engaging in some healing “me time” can help you move forward from depressive feelings after divorce. 

By knowing when to seek help and getting the support you need, you can move on from your divorce and come out stronger on the other end. You’re not alone, and there’s always hope for a brighter and happier future in your cards! 

Was this blog helpful? Let us know what you think about post-divorce depression and how to cope with it in the comments below. 

Take Care!

The post 7 Practical Tips to Cope With Divorce Depression and Moving Forward appeared first on Calm Sage – Your Guide to Mental and Emotional Well-being.

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