How to Cope With Depression Due to Separation


Separation or the end of a marriage can cause reactive depression, which is an extension of adjustment disorder. Reactive depression is characterized as a response to a situation or event that causes sadness, fatigue, loss of interest in normal routines, crying spells and insomnia. Grieving from the loss of a relationship is normal; however, it can easily turn into depression. Find out how you can cope with depression and move on with life after separation.

Change your environment. Moving to another city or state is the most extreme form of this suggestion, but you can transform you home without spending money or leaving. Place your partner's personal items in a box. Either give their belongings back or store it away. Make some changes to your home such as moving around furniture, repainting the walls or changing the color schemes. Colors can affect your mood. Blue can provoke feelings of calmness, while red can induce energy. By tailoring your home's ambiance to your personal tastes, you can feel more in control of a situation that feels chaotic.

Go out with friends and family members. People with depression typically isolate themselves from social activity, thus promoting feelings of loneliness and sadness. Choose positive activities such as visiting art galleries, taking a class or going out to dinner. Numerous people fall into the trap of going out to bars to ease their depression. However, alcohol is a depressant and will only make your symptoms worse. Some people may be mutual friends of your ex-partner. Decide if you are ready to see them again. Refrain from bringing up the past or your partner while out. Take this time to explore your own individuality outside of the relationship.

Eat a healthy diet. Weight loss and weight gain are normal symptoms of depression. According to Dr. Ingrid van Heerden, lack of carbohydrates, protein, vitamin B 12 and nutrients can worsen or cause a depressive state. Create a meal plan that consists of lean meats, low-fat foods, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Keep your blood sugar from crashing by eating three meals and two small snacks a day. Blood sugar crashes incite anxiety, fatigue, depression and food binges. Avoid foods that will make you feel lethargic or put on weight--refined sugar, baked goods, fried foods and fatty meats. Increase your amount of carbohydrates.

Write in a journal. Writing can provide cathartic insight into the relationship and past it. It is an effective way to get out emotions and reflect on your current thoughts and feelings. Try writing letters to your partner that you will never send. Tell him things that you wish you could say. Share the letters or journal with a therapist to get additional insight for unresolved issues or negative thought patterns.

Schedule an appointment with a therapist, counselor or social worker. Cognitive therapy helps you to change negative behaviors, thought patterns and beliefs. A therapist can help you heal from the grief of ending a relationship and help you set goals. You may need to see a doctor for a prescription for antidepressants to get through trying times. Be consistent with going to appointments. It is best to set a routine for therapy, so you know you can count on it when you are depressed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Join a divorce support group to meet other people experiencing similar problems and receive information for coping through separation. Keep contact with your partner down to a minimum. Moving on from a relationship takes a lot of work, and frequent interaction can open old wounds and prolong depression.

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