Divorce Depression: What it is and How it Can be Alleviated
Current estimates suggest that approximately 41% of all first marriages in the United States will end in divorce. The numbers just go up from there. About 60% of second marriages end in the same way, and 73% of third marriages also end with divorce papers. Given these sobering statistics, it is understandable that there are many people who may suffer from divorce depression and the anxiety of going through a divorce. It is in the best interest of all of society for people to have some understanding of what to do if they find themselves in a situation where they are dealing with divorce depression.
What Does Divorce Depression Look Like?
It has been said time and time again, one must first recognize that they have a problem before they can begin to really address it. Thus, we need to discuss what divorce depression may look like in different types of people.
- Allowing Responsibilities to Fall by the Wayside - Adults have responsibilities that they need to handle in their daily lives. If they allow those responsibilities to be ignored for a day or two it is usually no big deal. However, it can become a more serious situation if they are allowing those same responsibilities to go unanswered for weeks or even months at a time. When that is the situation, it may have a much larger negative impact on their life, and that is something that simply cannot be brushed aside.
- Poor Work Performance - The experience of divorce depression can be an extremely distracting thing for the person going through it. They may easily find themselves in a situation where their performance at work begins to suffer as a result of feeling distracted and unable to get their work done like they are supposed to. Supervisors, co-workers, and others may notice the falloff in work performance, and this could be a sign that someone is going through a depressive episode.
- Isolation - There are times in life when it is completely normal for someone to want to isolate themselves from others. They may simply need a little time to themselves, or they may just not feel like interacting with the rest of the world at this time. It is certainly acceptable for people to pull away from some of their social responsibilities some of the time, but it is not great if they are constantly isolating themselves from the people they love. This is likely a sign of depression.
Not everyone exhibits the same signs, and not everyone will show the signs listed here at all. It is incredibly important for people to be aware of the potential signs that co-workers and others who are close to them are exhibiting at any given time in order to try to be there for them.
How Serious is Divorce Depression?
It is completely normal for someone who has gone through a divorce to experience a period of time when they are not feeling their best. They are probably going to be sad about the experience that they have gone through, and they may wonder if there are any corrective actions that they really need to take in order to get themselves back to a normal life. There are certainly differences between feeling the blues about a divorce and having a prolonged period of depression.
See A Therapist
Going to a therapist during your divorce may help. In fact, receiving assistance from a non-judgemental person will help you deal with what you are going through; a therapist will be able to provide you with strategies that can be extremely useful during moments when you are feeling the most down. Furthermore, once the divorce is finalized you may be dealing with grief; even if you were the one that initiated the divorce you are experiencing a loss and it may help to speak with a therapist.
People sometimes wonder if they are dealing with depression as the result of a divorce or if they had the depressive symptoms before they ever got divorced in the first place. Sometimes, it is challenging to distinguish between the two.
Research has indicated that the odds of divorce are approximately twice as high in couples where one partner experiences mental illness. However, the odds of divorce may be lessened in couples that experience similar levels of mental illness. This is interesting because it means that couples that are both going through difficult mental illness issues can potentially stand a better chance of keeping their marriage together. However, it is still going to be difficult for anyone suffering from mental illness to find all of the happiness that they want and that they deserve in life, and that should be something that people think about when they examine what it is like to deal with mental illness in a marriage.
No matter when depressive symptoms began to show up, it is a good idea to address them ASAP. There are many couples out there struggling to find their peace because one partner is struggling with a particularly difficult episode of depression or some other mental illness. Thus, it is ideal to get as much information as possible out to the public about the real struggles that many are going through. The more we the word out about what depression really looks like in the lives of everyday people, the better off we will be as a society in general.
For more information on dealing with divorce depression, please contact Mary Shull.