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Coping with depression after a divorce or marriage breakdown

We understand that going through a divorce or separation can cause conflicting and ambivalent feelings. You may have a fresh sense of control and greater personal freedom, while also having to deal with feelings of grief, loss and immense responsibility.

If you are struggling with these tensions, it is important to recognise that feeling this way is normal during such a big life change. At Priory, our therapists can help you to explore and navigate your way through these tensions so that you can put them in context and integrate them into your experience.

Dealing with anxiety, low mood and insecurity

With divorce, there isn’t a structured way of dealing with the feelings and emotions it causes. With many other life changes, such as entering a marriage, starting a new job or retiring, there are socially accepted traditions, events and rituals that mark and support the life change, helping a person to deal with the process and come to terms with their emotions.

But for divorces, these don’t exist. There are no traditions or events that are in place to allow you to mourn the loss or to help with the healing process like there are with other important transitions.

This lack of societal support can leave you struggling with the process and your emotions alone, feeling that you must do so out of sight and away from people, which can cause you to feel overwhelmed and unable to cope.

Surrounding yourself with support

At other important points of your life, it is likely that you turned to friends for their help and support. For example, you may have turned to your most trusted friend for wedding advice, or a new parent to show you the way with parenthood.

It is important to find yourself a similar role model to support you during this new life change and the feelings that go alongside it. It doesn’t matter if they are married or divorced, but they must be able to help you see yourself as capable and good. This support can then help you to normalise the notion of being divorced, rather than seeing it as an affliction you have to cope with alone.

Working with a therapist can also help with this, as it will allow you to visualise and plan for the future, while exploring and navigating your way through your feelings, giving you the opportunity to reduce your fear levels and uncertainty about what life may be like going forward.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle such as eating well and exercising regularly can then complement this support, helping you to look after and preserve your health and wellbeing for the long term.

How Priory can help with the divorce process

Every person deals with loss differently but you don’t have to struggle alone.

At Priory Hospitals and Wellbeing Centres across the UK, our therapists are highly experienced in working with people going through the divorce process, and who may have anxiety or depression as a result.

They work hard to make sure people feel safe so they can talk about the issues troubling them, taking the sessions at a pace and in a style that is suitable for them.

We also offer inpatient, day care and outpatient support for depression, where we provide bespoke programmes that are based on a person’s needs and requirements.

Get in Touch Today

For details of how Priory can provide you with assistance regarding mental health and wellbeing, please call 0800 840 3219 or click here to submit an enquiry form. For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here

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