After a divorce or a bad break-up, it's normal to feel sad. Regardless of who initiated the split, making the switch from having a co-pilot to flying solo is a major life change, and can be difficult to process. There comes a point, however, when sadness can turn into something more serious-- major depression. So how do you know if it's time to seek help?
You no longer enjoy your hobbies
Maybe you're hooked on running, or maybe your garden is your pride and joy. Whatever your passion is, if you're depressed, you may suddenly find yourself losing interest. It may seem like those activities have no point, or you simply can't muster the motivation to do them.
You don't want to spend time with loved ones
If you're depressed, spending time with friends and family can be draining. You may feel the need to put on a smile, which can be taxing when you're battling depression. You might also feel the need to avoid situations where you have to talk about your divorce or break-up. Even though you know that the support of loved ones is important, it may feel like too much work to take advantage of that support.
You have difficulty focusing
When you're depressed, you may find that your mind wanders no matter what you're doing. Your performance at work or school could suffer, and you may even find it difficult to hold a conversation without spacing out.
Your weight goes up or down
Maybe you can't stop reaching for the potato chips, or find yourself making multiple trips to your favorite fast food restaurant each day. Or, alternatively, maybe the mere thought of food makes your stomach turn. Whichever side of the coin you fall on, depression tends to lead to changes in weight and appetite.
You sleep too much, or can't sleep at all
Even though you're tired all the time, you still can't fall asleep at night. Or you suddenly are able to sleep 12 hours a night, easily. Depression can wreak havoc on a person's sleeping habits, leading to insomnia or oversleeping.
You feel overwhelmed with guilt or hopelessness
To some extent, guilt after a break-up or divorce is normal. If you're the one who initiated it, you might feel guilty for hurting the other person. Or guilt over what you could've done differently during the course of the relationship. It's a problem, however, if those feelings of guilt become constant and impossible to push past. You may feel like things will never get better, or that you'll never find someone else. These unrealistic thoughts are characteristic of depression.