When divorce triggers depression

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2024 | Divorce |

For many people, divorce is followed by a period of mourning what has been and what might have been. For this reason, its emotional impact can be likened to that of the death of a loved one. Unfortunately, people who get divorced generally don’t get nearly as much support as families who are mourning the loss of a loved one.

In fact, many divorcing couples are isolated during this life-alerting transition. It’s not hard to imagine the pain of reminiscing the beautiful memories of a romantic partnership as the marriage collapses. The mental trauma of letting go of familiar ways of life, future plans and shared dreams can very well trigger depression.

Divorce depression is a real thing

The legalized nature of divorce can deceive divorcing couples into thinking that once the process is finalized, they can quickly move on with their lives. Unfortunately, the amount of stress that divorce exerts on a person isn’t something to overcome overnight. Many people who are undergoing divorce can end up with a mood disorder that presents as:

  • Experiencing perpetual sadness
  • Disinterest in activities they once loved
  • Complete loss of appetite
  • Difficulty falling asleep

These are just a few challenges that divorce depression may present. This mood disorder is more likely for individuals who didn’t see the divorce coming; the sense of loss is more profound because they were still willing to work on the marriage. Other people who may feel completely lost are scarcely social individuals who greatly relied on their partner for:

  • Friendships
  • Access to social circles
  • Security
  • Companionship

Furthermore, the process of disentangling lives in which two people intentionally intertwined to achieve interdependence can be quite heartbreaking. Practical things like figuring out where to live and dividing assets can be overwhelming.

Similar to dealing with the loss of a loved one, leaning on a support system when a marriage breaks down can be a source of solace. Divorced individuals can also find a sense of home in support groups for people going through divorce. Speaking with people who are going through the same transition can provide new perspectives to make the pain bearable.

It’s no surprise that divorce can trigger a mood disorder (situational or otherwise) that makes it difficult to move on. However, divorce-related depression tends to catch many people by surprise. To make this transition easier, divorcing individuals can benefit from relying on a trusted legal team to address the legalities of separation.