Divorce takes an emotional toll on everyone involved: each spouse, child(ren), extended family members and even friends. Depression is not uncommon during divorce; in fact, your North York divorce lawyer has probably seen several clients in the past who have suffered from depression.

Depression can be a serious condition. Psychologists and psychiatrists are able to diagnose depression when a person has five of the following symptoms each day (and one of the first two symptoms must be one of them) for at least two weeks:

  • depressed mood
  • anhedonia (the inability to enjoy normally enjoyable activities)
  • sleep disturbances
  • motor retardation or agitation
  • depressed appetite
  • poor energy
  • poor concentration
  • suicidal thoughts, ideas or actions
  • feelings of guilt or worthlessness

Your North York divorce lawyer may recommend that you see a counselor or therapist during your divorce. Even if you are not experiencing symptoms of depression – or if you are only experiencing some of the symptoms – you might find that talking to an unbiased third party can help you cope with the everyday stresses of divorce.

Coping with Depression

If you choose not to see a counselor or therapist, whether or not your North York divorce lawyer has recommended one, there are a few things you can do to help you cope with the sadness you’re likely to feel during divorce.

  • Mix things up. Try a new job or take up a new hobby that involves others; getting out and being around people who have nothing to do with your divorce can help give you a fresh outlook.
  • Take advantage of small distractions. Pick up a book, absorb yourself in a movie or hit the gym in order to get your mind off what’s troubling you.
  • Sweep your ex under the rug. If your ex-spouse left his or her belongings behind, or if you have things that serve as a constant reminder of him or her, it’s time to give them all the boot.
  • Get some rest. Take a little time for some much-needed R&R. (Let your North York divorce lawyer know if you’ll be out of town, though, in the event that there are important developments in your case.)

It’s possible that your children or other family members may be suffering from depression as a result of your divorce, too. If you suspect that you’re dealing with a depressed family member, consider asking your North York divorce lawyer for resources you can turn to for help.

When You Need Someone to Talk to

If the strategies you’re trying don’t help to ease your pain, it may be time to talk to someone. Sometimes just letting go and having a heart-to-heart with a friend or adult family member is enough – but sometimes, it isn’t. Ask your North York divorce lawyer if he or she knows any local counselors who may be able to help you. Most lawyers have referred several previous clients to counselors, so chances are yours will be able to, as well.