Many things can trigger depression, and if we’re looking at stressful life events as a cause, divorce certainly fits the bill. You’re dealing with so much stress right now—even if you don’t feel like it—and that can put you on the path to clinical depression.
As San Bernardino divorce lawyers, we’ve worked with many clients who were fighting an uphill battle with depression, so we’d like you to know what to watch for; the signals of depression aren’t always obvious, but they’re often there. The sooner you catch it, the sooner you can get help.
What Divorce-Related Depression Feels Like
You might be surprised to discover that depression doesn’t always feel the way antidepressant commercials suggest it does. While people suffering from divorce-related depression often exhibit similar symptoms, everybody is unique. Someone with divorce-related depression may have symptoms such as:
- A continuous irritable mood
- Deep, unrelenting sadness
- Trouble falling asleep
- Constant sleepiness or dozing off at abnormal times
- Dramatic weight changes and changes in appetite
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling like the situation is hopeless
- Feeling helpless
- Loss of enjoyment
- Uncontrollable anger
- Frequent thoughts of death
- Fantasies about suicide
- Low self-esteem
- Feelings of guilt
- Feelings of worthlessness
Depression is one way that your body tells you that you need to find a way to decompress, particularly if it’s related to your divorce. Even if you’re not fitting all of these symptoms to a “T,” it won’t hurt to talk to someone about it. Your attorney might know a local counselor or therapist who will be happy to talk about the stresses you’re experiencing and can help determine whether you’re suffering from divorce-related depression.
Depression Can Affect Anyone
No matter how old, what gender or what ethnicity you are, depression can affect you. Even children can suffer from divorce-related depression.
Depression can be triggered by many things; not just divorce. The death of a loved one, losing a job, or natural body rhythms can trigger a change in the stress hormones you produce, and depression is often caused by an imbalance of chemicals in your brain.
Depression is a Medical Issue
There’s a certain stigma attached to depression that can make people reluctant to get help. Think about it this way, though: how long would you wait to get help for a broken arm? Would you stay home and hope that chest pains will go away on their own?
If you, your kids or someone you know experiences symptoms like those listed above for more than two weeks, it’s time to get help. Talk to your doctor as soon as possible. If you’re in a crisis, you can call 9-1-1 or call a confidential network of health professionals who can help at 888-743-1478 (the TDD number is 888-743-1481).
Your attorney isn’t a therapist, but he or she likely knows a local professional who can help you. Please, don’t suffer under the shackles of depression. Let somebody know that you’re suffering so you can get the help you deserve.