Divorce and depression often go hand in hand.

It is no secret that divorce can be a difficult time, especially since most people marry believing that they’ll never up getting divorced. Sometimes, only one person wants to divorce and this comes as a shock to the other person. Men and women also experience divorce differently, and many will deal with the news individually.

Why Divorce and Depression Are Common

When a relationship ends, you may experience a loss of family structures, the close relationship with your partner, financial security and even other relationships between your family and potentially your children. This can then trigger deep feelings of loss, denial and sadness.

Separation from your partner may be increasingly difficult as you now will have reduced contact with your children and are not used to living alone. Divorce can bring a huge amount of change and some people may not cope with those changes well. Divorce and depression are common because of the upheaval in your life – a new place to live, new arrangements with your children, and you may even find yourself in a new job.

5 Stages of Divorce and Depression

There are five stages of grief that you may feel when going through a divorce, and it’s important to know that these are normal.

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At first, the news of divorce may prove difficult to deal with, especially if you did not make that decision. However, even if it is your decision, once the divorce is finalised, you may not be able to accept that the relationship has ended. Denial is usually the first defence mechanism employed to soften the emotional pain. Denial may also allow you time to postpone the inevitability of stronger emotions.

Anger

After the first stage of denial comes anger, in which you finally accept the new circumstances. You may be upset at what your partner has said or done prior or during the divorce and this may cause bursts of anger. The blame of divorce is focused on the one person and this causes a large amount of anger and regret. During this stage, it’s important to keep your children away from any outbursts of anger and to control it – it may be during this stage that you do or something you’ll regret for a long time.

Bargaining

Bargaining can be a stage of two different feelings, one in where you attempt to fix the ended marriage or finally accept the circumstances. This stage is one in where you are typically feeling either fear, panic or a lack of control. You may attempt to tell yourself why the marriage did not work and why you made your decision, or you may try to communicate with your ex-partner in order to fix your broken relationship.

Depression

In the next stage, you realise that your marriage has actually ended, and you begin to feel depressed and upset. This is usually a time when assets are split and the arrangements of children are decided, which may cause sadness. You may not receive the assets you want, may lose something of value to you or may not have custody of the children. Whatever the case, this stage is incredibly hard and it is best to surround yourself with support of family, friends or even a professional to help you get through this stage. It’s temping to isolate yourself, but this may only make your depression worse.

Acceptance

This is the last stage of grief, and is when you begin to accept the finality of your divorce. You begin to create a new life for yourself and lean on the support of others and begin to feel positive emotions.

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Women and men may experience emotions differently, but this is completely normal. Emotional support can be found through a varied amount of support groups or professional mental health counsellors. Legal support may also be needed to assist you in beginning the process of divorce, as the necessary arrangements may be too overwhelming to even think about.

Keep in mind that throughout your divorce, it is perfectly okay to be upset and to move between the five stages of grief. Divorce and depression are incredibly common, and you may feel as though this time will never pass. Emotions experienced by women often include:

  • Fear for the economic future
  • Sadness at the end of a relationship
  • Worry for the new structure of work and family
  • Hate and regret about their relationship with the ex-partner
  • Fear for new relationships
  • Worry for legal circumstances
  • Relief that the relationship problems are now being talked about

Emotions experienced by men may include:

  • Anger and frustration
  • Relief that the relationship problems are now being talked about
  • Deep depression
  • Loneliness
  • Shock

Whatever emotions you are feeling, it is important to note that these are perfectly acceptable. In order to deal with your varied emotions, ensure you have the support of someone and are able to discuss your problems. If you need experienced, friendly legal advice about your situation, contact us today. We can help you through this difficult time in your life.