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How to Overcome Depression After Divorce – The Complete Guide

By Tiffiny J. Fambro | Divorce

Jan 19
woman crying over divorce

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I remember the moment I decided to divorce my spouse. It was the most difficult experience I ever went through. It was after years of marriage counseling, support groups, trying to learn how to communicate, and dealing with psychological abuse. Even though I wanted the divorce, it was still a very emotional process.

Most people who get married want to have a long life with their partner. They may have dreams of starting a family, a business or just living a fun, happy life with their spouse. However, when you get to the point of divorce, all those dreams you had of a future with that person are gone.

Not only do you lose a person that you may have loved, but you also lose the hope of what you both could have had together. You may also experience tangible losses such as a home, finances, assets, seeing your children every day, and even friends.

Many times, divorce can bring on a range of emotions from happy, to satisfied, to sad, to relieved, to anger or frustration. People will often experience pain and grief, and it’s important to understand how to deal with these emotions. After all, going through this process can be painful and can cause or exacerbate symptoms of depression.

Depression After Divorce Symptoms

Depression after a traumatic life event such as divorce is called situational depression. This is not the same as clinical depression but can have similar symptoms.

Some of these symptoms include:

  • Sadness
  • Irritability
  • A loss of appetite
  • Trouble sleeping or insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Crying at different moments in the day
  • Difficulty focusing
  • A loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Suicidal thoughts

Women, in general, are also prone to feelings of guilt, shame, and worthlessness after a divorce.

How Long Does Depression Last After Divorce?

After a divorce, there is no set time frame for how long the depression will last. It depends on how you deal with grief and if you are willing to get help, such as from a psychotherapist or a counselor.

Other factors include how long you were in the relationship, if you have children and still need to have contact with the other person, if you had a difficult and long divorce process, and if you have had previous issues with depression.

woman crying in therapy

How to Overcome Divorce Depression

Even though there is no timeframe around getting past divorce, there are things that you can do to help yourself heal and eventually feel better.

A few things that will help you overcome divorce depression are:

  • Therapy
  • Exercise
  • Diet
  • Sleep
  • Socialization
  • Mindfulness
  • Grieving

Let’s go over these things in more detail.

Therapy

Therapy with a licensed professional who specializes in divorce recovery can help tremendously. I highly recommend Oninetherapy.com. They are an affiliate partner of mine that has licensed psychologists, therapists, and counselors all over the world. They also have activities that support a healthy mindset such as yoga, journaling, and meditation.

Exercise

Getting consistent exercise or physical activity that gets your heart rate high periodically throughout the week can go a long way. Research has shown that periodic high-intensity exercise helps boost happy hormones such as dopamine and serotonin.

Beachbody on Demand provides workouts that you can do anytime, anywhere, as long as you have a tablet or smartphone. They make it easy to get in a workout when you are short on time.

Diet

Consume a diet of whole and healthy foods to make sure you are getting plenty of vitamins and minerals. Nutrition affects the functions of your organs, energy levels, as well as your mood.

Sleep

Get plenty of sleep and rest, as sleep deprivation can exacerbate depression and cause anxiety.

Socialization

Hang out with friends that support you or a support group for divorced women. It’s important to be around people that don’t blame you for the divorce or make you feel bad for the circumstance. Recovery support groups can help tremendously while going through the healing process.

Mindfulness

Creating a mindfulness routine such as daily journaling, meditation, or walking in nature can help you calm down and de-stress.

Grieving

Giving yourself time to grieve is essential to getting over divorce. The worst thing you can do is rush this process. Allow yourself the time you need to sit with your emotions, be in the present moment, and feel your feelings.

Conclusion

Divorce can be an extremely difficult experience. Even if you wanted a divorce, you may still have feelings related to grief and depression. It’s important to understand how to deal with your emotions and take steps to start the healing process.

Divorce is not the end of your life- it is a transition into a new stage of life. Be willing to do the work to heal so you can move forward and rebuild a new and improved life.

About the Author

Tiffiny has a B.A. in Psychology, and master’s degree in Public Health Education. She worked in consulting for over 16 years, as well as previously owning a fitness and health business. In her personal life, she used personal development, mindset and health strategies to go from being overworked in a demanding corporate career, emotionally drained in a toxic marriage, physically unhealthy, and depressed to becoming an award-winning figure level bodybuilding athlete and entrepreneur. As a women’s empowerment coach, she works to help women get clear on their goals, build confidence, increase self-esteem, take action on their deep desires and create a life they love

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