How Serious is Depression After Divorce?

Depression After DivorceRecently a friend of mine expressed concern over a mutual friend who was going through a divorce. She was concerned that our mutual friend might be suffering from depression after divorce. I found this a little odd. After all, hadn’t we spent endless hours listening to her anguish and pain over a horrible marriage she couldn’t wait to be out of? Hadn’t we been through this already? Watching for signs of depression while she was going through the lowest point in the marriage? I thought the divorce was supposed to make her happier. Whether you’ve been through it yourself or not, on the surface the possibility usually seems a little odd.

But after a little research and soul searching into life transitions I realized that I might be being a little insensitive, and that maybe I should give a little consideration to the possibility our friend was indeed suffering from depression after divorce. That maybe the situation was a little more complicated than I had originally once thought.
If you find yourself in the same support situation, keep in mind that some or all of these depression symptoms may present themselves. 

  1. Marked mental deficiency; difficulty concentrating or remembering details, even making simple decisions.
  2. Prolonged fatigue or unusual lethargy marked by a decrease in energy.
  3. Feeling helpless, worthless, hopeless, pessimistic or even guilty over the situation.
  4. Lack of interest in activities and hobbies that have always provided pleasure.
  5. Drastic changes in appetite, for example overeating or loss of appetite.

If you find that a loved one is suffering from depression after divorce, look for other physical indicators such as headaches or emotional triggers like persistent sadness.
Divorce is a very serious life transition, regardless of whether it was their idea or not. When your friends and family members must deal with this major upheaval, they may exhibit clinical depression symptoms during their healing process. No matter how justified the situation, no one likes to feel like they’ve failed or that they’ve given up on a situation, no matter how much of a “good” thing it may be for them over the long haul. Be careful not to minimize these depression symptoms, view your role as that of supporter and confident and let them know you understand and just want to be there for them and listen. If at any time, however, you pick up on any talk that relates to suicidal tendencies talk to a professional as intervention may be warranted. 

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