Are you suffering from depression since your separation?
Almost 1 in 4 people in the UK are now being diagnosed with a mental health illness, of which the most common is depression. Depression is the fastest growing ‘silent’ illness with many people suffering in silence and abject misery, feeling too ‘ashamed’ or ‘embarrassed’ to seek any kind of support or help. You can suffer with depression through any situation life throws at you; divorce depression is just one of many.
Don’t go into hiding
Some become so fearful of being ‘labelled’ with a mental health condition they increasingly isolate themselves, hiding in the shadows and remaining undiagnosed. Many are advised to ‘get over it’ or told ‘you’ll be fine’ and believe they should simply maintain a ‘stiff upper lip’. Either way, depression remains a subject and issue that is hard to bring to the surface and talk about. By nature of the effects, most depression sufferers find it extremely hard to reach out and seek help.
Working with people who have suffered various levels of depression, we liken the symptoms to the feeling of being stuck in an old-fashioned deep-sea diving suit. You’re in the deepest, darkest seas, far away from land. You are incapacitated, as if wearing lead-filled boots that keep you stuck at the bottom.
What does depression feel like?
An over-sized, heavy metal helmet weighs down your neck and head and you’re hoping that your only access to oxygen, through a precariously placed plastic tube, won’t suddenly fail. Land, people and society seem so far away and sound is muffled by the crashing waves and turbulence of the dark sea. Ocean creatures seem all the more menacing. You feel completely ‘cast away’ from the delights of what seems to be happening in the outside world, on safe, dry land and from those who appear to be enjoying the beauty and tranquillity of the sea.
Sufferers of divorce depression and indeed any depression, can have numerous physical symptoms too. These may include constant tiredness, insomnia, loss of appetite and libido, lack of motivation and other aches and pains. Emotional symptoms can range from lows to highs with frequent peaks of anxiety. When feeling in ‘low’ spirits, many feel overwhelmed, frequently tearful, experiencing extreme lethargy and have difficulty concentrating. When in ‘extreme lows’ one can feel useless, like a burden on others, perhaps not being able to get out of bed, struggling to function at work or socially, with possible persistent suicidal thoughts.
Do you recognise yourself?
If this is you, please don’t continue to suffer in silence or leave it until you reach a crisis point. Why not contact a counsellor or therapist to book an assessment consultation? If you’re feeling particularly alone and unsupported during your divorce or separation, you can contact Kids Come First.
It’s not uncommon for separated parents to feel stuck in their own kind of diving suit. So, if you feel depressed or recognise the above symptoms please do seek some specialist support as soon as possible.
Our person-centred Separation S.O.S. mentoring sessions are designed to gently steer you along the road to acceptance. We can’t promise it will all be plain sailing, but with our mindful support you will survive your separation. You can rediscover yourself and define a positive action plan for the future you deserve. You don’t need to feel alone suffering with divorce depression. Reach out.