Dealing with Depression After a Divorce
With divorce, you’re going to face a period of depression. It doesn’t matter if you’re normally the most cheerful and upbeat person in the world, whether the divorce was initiated by you or not – the fact is that depression pretty much inevitable. But, if there’s a difference, it’s a surprising one – depression after separation and divorce tends to affect men more than women, and the belief is that it’s because they no longer have constant access to their children.
What you need to accept is that at some point you’ll be depressed. How long it lasts depends a lot on your general emotional (and physical) health. The better that is, the faster you’ll bounce back and achieve equilibrium; all it takes is time. But some will find themselves in a situation where there’s no improvement, and at that point you need to take action.
Getting HelpThe first thing to remember is that seeking help is a positive step. It means you’ve acknowledged that there is a problem and that you’re ready to do something about it. Given how lethargic depression can make people – some can be affected to badly that they find it almost impossible to get out of bed and face the day – actively doing something is a huge leap forward.
The trick, though, is finding the right person to help you. There are so many counsellors and therapists out there, and different kinds of treatment – anything from cognitive to group to art therapy – that finding someone with whom you click can be a little like looking for a needle in a haystack.
However, it is important to be choosy, since you’re really baring your soul and laying your life open. It’s worth taking the time, talking to different therapists, and learning about different treatments. It’s not easy, but your GP will be able to offer advice and answer at least some basic questions, as well as giving you a number of referrals.
Working With Your GPYour GP can prescribe anti-depressants, and a few years ago that would have been the normal solution for dealing with depression. These days, though, the tendency has been to look beyond that in an effort to discover and treat the root of the depression, rather than simply masking the symptoms.
However, they can help in the short term, and used as part of a multi-pronged attack on the depression, along with counselling or therapy, they can prove very effective as a form of treatment, allowing you to function fairly normally.
Using Support GroupsYou might feel your depression isn’t serious enough to warrant seeing a therapist, or for a number of other reasons you might not be inclined to take that route. There are alternatives, and the support group is one of them.
They meet regularly, usually once a week, and although moderated by a therapist or qualified professional, the people talking are those attending, although it’s far less structured than group therapy. Some are geared specifically for those going through divorce, so you’ll find other with similar problems, which not only gives you as chance to talk about your own divorce-related depression, but see that others are in the same boat; that might not help cure you, but it can at least be a comfort.
For the vast majority of people, the depression will pass, and you’ll very probably find yourself slowly returning to the life you once loved. It’ll be different, of course, as your circumstances have changed, but there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy it just as much.