Divorce And Depression

Divorce and depression go hand in hand. You feel terrible all of the time and it is a chore to drag yourself through each day. You lose weight, can’t sleep, and nothing is very much fun anymore. 

Depression is a common occurrence after the breakup of a marriage. Research indicates that separation and divorce are linked to both major depressive episodes and a higher than average rate of suicide for both men and women.

It is as if you are twice a failure… First, you failed in your marriage and now your struggle in your post divorce life is not looking so successful either. Depression after a divorce is fueled by both low self-esteem and guilt. It is the prelude to sadness and grief as you mourn the death of your marriage.

The root of divorce depression is low self-esteem. Many years in a painful marriage eroding the ego can take their toll. Regardless if you were the one who initiated the divorce or not you feel like a failure. You do not love your life or the world that you have created.

It is impossible to come out of a marriage without feeling rejected by your spouse. The rejection only serves to fuel your beliefs about that yourself that you are unlovable and unloved. You ask yourself, “Where did I go wrong?” You blame yourself more and more and sink even further into depression.

The guilt of divorce is the next major theme that fuels your divorce-induced depression. You feel guilty about your ex-spouse, your children, your parents, and your friends.

Feeling guilty is very easy to do as well. A little bit of guilt is probably a good thing. It makes you want to do right by the ones you love. You want people to think positively of you. The problem with guilt is that it does not come in little pieces at time. Guilt is a huge emotion that can completely take over your life and leave you paralyzed and unable to move forward.

If you allow feelings of guilt to take over, it will prevent you from working though all of the other painful emotions that need dealt with. You just lump everything together in a big box labeled “guilt” and refuse to face them or reality.

Depression is a critical stage in the divorce process. You have a choice. Either you work through the sadness and the depression, or you can become stuck there and become another bitter victim of divorce who never grows past the event.

Just know that being depressed is one of the phases that you will go though after a divorce. It sits right in there between numbness and anger usually. It is important to feel it, face it, and take it head on in order to heal from your divorce and move on.

The duration to which you experience your depression is not one that is set in stone, but the sooner you deal with it, especially the feelings of rejection and failure, the better off you will be.

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado