Divorce Depression: Getting By Post-Divorce

Divorce Depression: Getting By Post-Divorce

Life During and After the Divorce

Life during and after divorce can feel overwhelming. Be patient with yourself because what you’re experiencing is a deep loss. The grief that comes after any loss is an emotional challenge that can be hard to navigate on your own. 

During your divorce or divorce recovery, you may feel like you’re unsure of yourself. You might question if you’re making the right decision. You may be stressed about finances, wondering if you’ll find love again, figuring out how to help your child deal with divorce, and more.

Many people going through a divorce even have feelings of guilt or shame. They often feel that it’s their fault they couldn’t make their marriage work. You may find that you’re angry or that you’re resentful toward your spouse.

The single most important thing you can remind yourself while you’re going through a divorce is that all of your feelings are valid. And more importantly, they’re all very normal.

The mental health impact during your divorce

Divorce can impact your mental health in a number of ways. During the process, you may find that you’re:

  • More tired than normal
  • Unable to sleep
  • Experiencing a change in your eating habits— eating too much or not enough
  • Prone to be more reactionary
  • Angry
  • Sad
  • Emotional
  • Numb

The mental health impact after your divorce

You might expect that once your divorce is final, you’ll suddenly feel better. You may think that you’ll feel like you have a new lease on life, or a huge weight has lifted. But in reality, many people experience post-divorce depression that’s just as burdensome, if not more so, as what they were feeling during the divorce process. 

You may even find that you have similar depressive symptoms (sleep difficulties, food issues, strong emotions, etc.) after your divorce is finalized. 

“Every single person I’ve treated during a divorce has been impacted in ways they had not foreseen. Coming to the decision to end a marriage is never easy. The emotional bandwidth is already limited by the time they come to therapy. The completed divorce is a means of gaining emotional stability and satisfaction, but the journey to get there can be draining. Feelings of sadness or grief are unexpected, yet typical. Managing the ups and downs of the process is a marathon. Focus needs to be consistently directed toward self-care, processing, and establishing healthy boundaries.”

Talkspace therapist Amy Cirbus PhD, LMHC said

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