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Dealing With Depression Following Separation

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 18 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Separation Divorce Depression Anti

After a break up, whether it was your decision or not, there’s inevitably a period of depression. That’s bound to happen as you go through a welter of emotions once you’re single again. Curiously, a study has shown that it tends to affect men more than women – possibly because, once single, men don’t have the constant access to their children that they once enjoyed.

What you have to accept is that at some point you’ll be depressed. Most people, though, will come out of the phase in time and be able to move on with their lives. The problem comes with those who simply are unable to do that, and who seem mired in their depression.

If your emotional and mental health is good, you should have no problem; all it will take is time. But what can you do if the black cloud simply won’t life from your shoulders?

Seeking Help

Thankfully, the idea of seeking help for emotional conditions has changed in the last few decades. It used to be seen as a stigma, but now many people go to therapists and counsellors for help overcoming their problems, and they know it can truly help, rather than be anything shameful.

There are many people qualified to help out there, all good, accredited professionals. But they’re not all the same and they don’t even work in similar ways. What you need is the right person for you. When you’re opening up so much, it has to be with someone you feel you can trust completely.

It’s worth remembering that even starting to seek help is a positive step. It’s a sign that you’re ready to do something about your condition (and depression can be emotionally crippling).

Therapy doesn’t have to last for years. In this case its function is to get you out of your depression. When that’s happened, it’s succeeded. It might not occur overnight, but in most cases it should be a matter of weeks or months, rather than decades.

Remember, too, that what you’re doing is changing your life, and putting yourself back in charge. That’s a major step, and a stressful one, but once it happens you’ll feel much better about everything.

Support Groups

Therapists aren’t for everyone, and you might be one of those people. But there are other avenues available to you. A support group, meeting once a week, can prove to be very effective. Not only do you have the chance to talk about your own problems, you also see that you’re not the only one suffering. Most places have support groups for the divorced and separated, and it should be easy to obtain a contact from your GP or the local Citizens’ Advice Bureau. Your church, mosque or temple might also be able to help you find a support group.

Medical Help

You might want to consult your GP about your condition if you feel its debilitating enough. Some might choose to prescribe anti-depressants, whilst others won’t. They can help in the short term, especially when combined with counselling or therapy, which offers a long-term solution. At the same time, drugs aren’t an answer for everybody, and if you have any doubts, take the time to discuss them thoroughly with your doctor.

The good news is that the vast majority of people do overcome their depression and continue to live the happy lives they once enjoyed.

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