Monday, February 17, 2014

Depression and Divorce - 4 Ways to Ease the Depression During Divorce

Depression during divorce is very common. It is not surprising that this frequently occurs, given the massive life changes that often take place during a divorce. You face the change of living arrangements, intimacy, finances, access to and time with children, and changes in your other relationships with mutual family and friends. This can be a traumatic transition and it is important to take very good care of yourself during this time. If you find you are struggling and feeling incapacitated, it may be most appropriate for you to get some medication to treat the acute symptoms of depression. However, in milder cases, it is often possible to use natural methods to combat depression symptoms. Here are 4 ways to ease the depression that frequently accompanies divorce:

1.       Eat very healthy foods. Avoid eating highly processed food and sugars, and focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. If you aren't eating as much because you are upset, trying carrying around snack foods and eating small portions several times per day as opposed to trying to eat large meals. If you overeat when depressed, try setting a time of evening to stop eating. Also, don't eat when you are distracted, like when you are watching TV.

2.      Take vitamins and supplements as needed. Start with a good food based multivitamin and add calcium if you don't have enough in your diet. Take fish oil, which has many benefits including improvement of brain health. L-Theanine is a good choice if you have anxiety symptoms, and 5 HTP (hydroxytryptophan) is a natural antidepressant that increases your levels of serotonin, a brain neurotransmitter involved in mood regulation. It is advisable to check with your health care provider before starting a new supplement.

3.      Talk things out with others. Work with a counselor to help you sort through your emotions and come to a place of closure and peace about your marriage. Speak with friends and family who can offer you emotional support. Avoid isolating yourself too much.

4.      Exercise regularly. Check with your doctor to determine the level of activity for you, then adopt a frequent schedule of exercise. Cardio is ideal for this purpose, as it allows for the release of endorphins. Endorphins are the "feel good" compounds released in the body during sustained exercise where the heart rate is raised. 

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