Depression following a divorce, or separation, is known as reactive depression. We become overwhelmed by feelings of sadness, regret, remorse, loss and loneliness.
Depression is like an aching emptiness, a void no-one can fill. At the depths of depression, we feel no inclination to do anything, not even get out of bed. Washing and dressing is such a great effort we literally cannot do it. We’re drained. We feel hopeless, pointless. Nothing has any meaning. We can’t sleep or wake very early. We have no appetite.
A good sign
All these feelings are normal and even beneficial following a divorce. They are deeply unpleasant but strong feelings of sadness cannot be avoided. So long as it doesn’t last too long, depression is a good sign. It means that you’ve accepted that the relationship is really over. Once you reach this point, life can start to turn around.
Your Questions Answered
Why am I so depressed?
Because you have ‘lost’ someone close to you and probably your way of life. In fact your whole life has been turned upside down. No wonder you are overwhelmed by sadness, regret, loss and loneliness. Your feelings are not dissimilar to someone going through a bereavement.
I can’t get out of bed in the morning. Is this normal?
Yes. At the depths of depression, you will feel no inclination to do anything, not even get out of bed because everything seems pointless.
How long will I feel like this for?
It is normal to feel very low for a few weeks, but then you should start to feel a bit better. Your appetite will gradually improve. You will be able to sleep a bit better. Washing and dressing will not seem so much of an effort. You will begin to feel less drained and less hopeless.
Should I see my doctor?
Depression is perfectly normal, even healthy following a divorce or separation, if it doesn’t last too long. Even a deep depression means you’ve accepted the relationship is really over. But if you are unable to get out of bed for more than a few weeks, then it is time to see your doctor.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Go with the feelings. They should bottom out and you’ll start to come back up.
- See your doctor if you continue to feel very low for more than a few weeks.
- Don’t tell yourself you should snap out of it.
- Try to find someone who will let you have a good cry.
Need to Knows
- Depression is normal after a divorce or separation
- You will feel an aching emptiness
- At the depths of depression you may not be able to get out of bed because everything seems pointless
- Depression is a good sign as long as it doesn’t last too long – it means you’ve accepted that your relationship/marriage is really over
- If you’re feeling really low for more than a few weeks, go see your doctor.
Please Submit Your Own Story…
Please consider sharing your story with others suffering now. How you coped? How you felt? What helped? What were the circumstances that led up to your separation? How do you cope with loneliness? The more you can share the better.
Your story really does help others who are going through the same gut wrenching pain. Your story reinforces the fact that they are not alone in their suffering.