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Depressed

Question:

My wife left me and i need advice on how to get over my depression

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  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
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Answer:

Separation and divorce are always extremely painful and depressing events to go through and for everyone. The fact that she left you makes it all the more difficult because there is extra pain connected with being the one who is left rather than the one who is leaving although its difficult either way. Therefore, you must understand that depression is inevitable under the circumstances. Your depression is part of mourning the loss of the marriage, the loss of your wife, and having to establish a new and single life style as opposed to one of being a married man. In many ways, it is similar to mourning a death. There are also many details to take care of including dividing property and money and selecting a good attorney to protect your interests. Having said all of this it is important that you reduce your depression through the following types of activities:

1. Attend a support group for people who are going through separation and divorce.

2. Rather than isolating yourself, surround yourself with friends and family.

3. Engage yourself in activities of all types: go to baseball games, bowling, playing cards with friends, soccer or whatever favorite activities.

4. Learn about and get involved in meditation to relax your self and reduce your anxiety and tension. There are often free meditation classes at the Y or at the local community center. If there is any cost it is often nominal.

5. Engage in exercise, including going to the gym if you have a membership, swim, jog or run, ride your bicycle and other types of cardio vascular activities which will help reduce your tension.

6. If you are religious attend services and speak to people at your religious institution.

7. You can always seek psychotherapy to help get you through this difficult period of time.

This list is not meant to be exhaustive but is to help you "get the idea."

Do not self isolate and do not drink or stay home feeling sorry for yourself. Of course, go to work and do not miss any days.

If you feel suicidal go to the emergency room and do not wait. Help is available, including therapy and anti depressant medications. You will get past this troubled time in your life.

Best of Luck

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