Can adult children of divorce find help and hope in the midst of their depression?
Today we will just touch on what depression is and then look for more posts on how it manifests itself in our lives and what we can do about it.
The dictionary definition is as follows
dejection - hollow
Depression is often a response to loss. The feeling of sadness doesn't leave and causes it to be difficult to maintain our normal level of functioning. This is often the case for those who have parents going through a divorce. The challenging issue is that many people in the same family may be dealing with depression at the same time when a divorce of older parents affects their adult children and grandchildren of all ages as well.
From the oldest to the youngest of those in my family , we all cried, we all lost sleep and many of us exhibited other symptoms of our biochemical changes as we internalized our loss.
The loss can be at many levels, including the physical presence of a loved one, the security or monetary support we may have had , or it could include loss of possessions that one parent may take when they leave. It can be the loss of a childhood home. The loss of the parent who always cooked your favorite dish, or the parent who fixed your car when you came home to visit. Routines can change and you may mourn the loss of going for breakfast every Saturday like you used to do. A loss of trust may result in your life. And ultimately the loss of dreams for the future are present now as you wonder if each parent will be there for your wedding, your child's birth, or your child's graduation. These are just a few areas of loss that can cause and add to depressive feelings in adult children as their parents divorce.
We need to acknowledge that depression is a natural phenomena triggered by loss and it is necessary to be honest and face our losses as we hope to eventually move on over time.
Since I haven't really been getting much feedback anyway, today I am not going to ask you to answer a question. Instead, get out a piece of paper and make two lists. One , list the things you have lost or are losing. On the other list , write down the things or intangibles that you still do have. This is an important exercise in dealing with our depression.
Join me next time as we explore what depression looks like for an adult child of divorce and what we can do about it!!!!!! Don't forget , there IS hope and healing!!!