Stress and anxiety is normal during break up/divorce so expect it. It’s never an easy thing to go through but when does it cross the line from normal to depression and needing medical help?

***During my second experience with a divorce type break up I wasn’t handling it well. It was a month into the storm of battles over my son when a coworker noticed I wasn’t well. He asked me how I was doing as he knew my situation(seeing as it involved my ex and his wife) and I couldn’t answer him. I truly didn’t know. I had not slept well in weeks. I couldn’t eat and had lost a lot of weight at that point. I did not even remember how I got to work that day.

He kindly told me if I showed up for work the next day he would report me to our management team since I shouldn’t have been operating machinery at that point.

I got the hint….Go see your doctor, you need help now! I was already so deep into my depression and anxiety that I couldn’t recognize how exhausted I was or that at that point I had not showered in five days. I must have been a sight! ***

So how did the stress and anxiety lead to depression as fast as it did? The stress of the realization that the relationship was over compiled with trying to make sure our child would be okay in the end and trying to get him to pay child support is what lead to anxiety, not to mention the yelling and threats brought fear into the situation. This ongoing activity lead to lack of sleep and not eating for me. The perfect recipe for depression.

Can any one reading this relate? (comment below)

We all understand that everyone’s situation is different and we all handle stress differently but everyone’s divorce/break up has heated moments that cause undue stress and anxiety. Why can’t we all handle it like water on a ducks back instead of paddling like hell below the surface just to make the next 30 seconds of the day? The truth is, it is totally normal to feel like you are losing your mind from time to time and divorce is no different. It’s okay…so long as you recognize when you need help.

One might say that you only need help if you are feeling suicidal or having thoughts of death but this is not true. ( If you are experiencing these types of thoughts call your local health authorities immediately for help. Call 911 if need be. Don’t wait for another minute please. )

You can help yourself by doing a check in:

-how much sleep am I getting per night?

-how often do I worry about my situation?

-have I lost weight or gained weight recently and am I eating healthy?

-have I been over indulging in alcohol or recreational drugs lately?

-do I still enjoy activities that I did before this life change?

-are my children’s needs still being met?

If you answer no to any or all of these types of questions, it may be time to see your doctor for a more in depth evaluation. Your healthcare provider is well educated in this field and can offer more than medication to get you through this. To start with, your basic needs like sleep will be addressed which is a key factor in the decline of general mental health. He/she may also run other tests to make sure nothing else is going on as well.

It’s always a good idea to try and fight off depression before it takes hold. One great way to do this is to commit to walking every day. Walking daily helps reduce anxiety naturally and also distracts you from your worries as well as puts you in tune with nature and it’s sounds.

Commit to getting out of your house for 30 minutes every day. This can be for running errands, exercising or even yardwork. Again a great way for distraction from your reality as well as a wonderful feeling of accomplishment when you get things done.

Take vitamin D every day. In North America we done get enough vitamin D from the sun and if you have dark skin even less is absorbed. It’s this vitamin that helps combat the blues along with boosting your immunity. If you aren’t sure how much you should consume, check with your local pharmacist or healthcare provider. Silly as this sounds…commit to a daily shower or bath. Forcing this habit helps keep you busy and gives you more purpose in your day. Not to mention everyone living with you will appreciate it. Don’t forget that calling out to your BFF or family members. This a great way to get your feelings out and bounce ideas around about what your going through. If you are falling too deep into depression, surely your BFF will recognize it and call you out on it making sure you get the help you need.

The fact of the matter is if you don’t have your mental health in check then you won’t be able to negotiate your terms in the separation, marital assets/debts and family matters.

In some cases ex spouses can get vindictive and claim you can not look after yourself so therefor you can’t look after the children. You want to avoid this at all cost.

It is always best to look after yourself during a divorce/break up.

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