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Situational Depression: Managing Your Mental Health During Divorce

By Sarah Jacobs, Esq.

Situational Depression and Divorce Lawyers Morris County NJ

Serving Clients in towns across New Jersey and Morris County, including Morristown, Madison, Randolph, Morris Plains, East Hanover, and Florham Park

Divorce is a life-altering process often filled with emotional issues that can impact the life of the individual getting divorced and the lives of family members and people close to them. The personal and psychological challenges that can arise during and after the legal divorce process, such as situational depression, are often best addressed through some form of psychology or professional counseling services. People who are trying to navigate their way through the divorce process often experience situational depression. The greatest difference between situational depression and clinical depression is that situational depression is a short-term form of depression that occurs as the result of a traumatic event, or change in a person’s life such as job loss, retirement, death or divorce.

Some degree of situational depression is part of the normal grieving process related to the various losses the end of the marriage brings. If not dealt with appropriately, situational depression can linger for much longer than it needs to. The divorce and family law attorneys at Jacobs Berger LLC pride themselves on building family life plans out of family law problems. We are uniquely positioned to assist in the legal aspects of your divorce that will help reduce any concerns that may cause stress and we have professional relationships and referral sources to help you navigate any personal or emotional issues that may arise as well.

Contact our firm today to discuss your unique needs and situation, and the potential for mediation, in a strategic planning session. Call us today 973-710-4366.

Morristown Divorce Lawyers Take a Holistic Approach

Clients often use their attorneys as sounding boards as they detail the life and marital experiences that led up to their seeking legal counsel. Although lawyers are likely to be sympathetic in their legal advice, law school alone does not prepare or qualify most lawyers to provide the type of mental health counseling their clients need at this particular moment in their life.

Fortunately, there are several different things that can be done in order to mitigate the effects or risks of situational depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and other mental health issues during divorce. Jacobs Berger LLC, Morris County family law firm works closely with a number of different mental health professionals, and can recommend what we think may be a good fit for you in terms of helping you to organize and adjust to divorce-related issues, manage stress, anxiety, depression, fear and cope with other psychological issues that may result from or be amplified by your new familial and financial situation (e.g., child custody, child support, parenting time and visitation, alimony, and equitable distribution). These professionals may be appointed by the court, selected by agreement of the parties or hired as consultants or members of your support network.

Mediation Can Reduce Stress and Situational Depression

When stress, anxiety, and depression occurs during a divorce, one option to managing your mental health and reducing divorce stress is to seek resolution through divorce mediation. Mediation encourages cooperation and communication usually results in a much less contentious and much less stressful divorce.

However, whether mediation is or is not an option for your case, there may still be a need for a mental health professional for you, or jointly with your spouse for family counseling and/or for co-parenting therapy, or for your children.

How Symptoms of Situational Depression Can Manifest

Adjusting to life after a divorce can take anywhere from a few weeks to many years. During this time you can be more susceptible to certain conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder, and various physical ailments (e.g., digestive problems, heart disease, weakened immune system, etc).

Each spouse may experience depression differently, and some have experience little to no symptoms. Depression can manifest as sadness, worthlessness, guilt or irritability, difficulty sleeping, and substance abuse. Other behaviors that can occur during and after the divorce process are:

  • ignoring responsibilities
  • avoiding family and friends
  • fighting
  • a loss of appetite
  • a loss of interest in activities you previously enjoyed and hobbies
  • fatigue
  • crying spells
  • difficulty concentrating
  • feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, worthlessness
  • suicidal thoughts or attempts

If you’re experiencing any of these behaviors or you’re feeling depressed during your pending litigation or after your divorce decree, talk to a counselor who can recommend a course of action or suggest a support network, towards improving your mental health and/or feel free to give us a call and we can work with you to get in touch with the appropriate professionals.

Allow Yourself to Grieve the Loss of Divorce

The coping process starts when one allows themselves the freedom to grieve and starts taking steps towards moving on with one’s life.

Grief is a very human reaction to loss and an instinctual emotional process that can invoke all sorts of emotional reactions as it runs its course. Often life returns to a semblance of normalcy and the intensity of loss fades. Different people take different amounts of time to go through their own grief process and express their grief with different intensities of emotion.

For a time, people may find themselves moving on and grieving at the same time. Over time, however, if everything goes well, the grieving process loses steam and more energy becomes available for moving on with life.

Support Yourself in the Healing Process

  • start/maintain a healthy routine – exercise, meditate, sleep, eat regular healthy meals
  • journal your thoughts – as a creative outlet to describe painful or difficult situations & promote a healthy path for tracking emotional growth
  • enjoy a creative distraction – reading, hobby, movie, reconnecting with old friends
  • pamper your self – mani-pedi, massage, mini-vacation to help smooth the healing process

Contact a Randolph Family Lawyer for a Confidential Case Evaluation Today

At Jacobs Berger, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients and families to navigate and ultimately resolve the divorce process in towns across New Jersey and Morris County, including Morristown, Madison, Randolph, Morris Plains, East Hanover, Florham Park, Mount Olive and more.

By pursuing a “negotiation first” strategy when it comes to any family law matter, we can help families to reduce the stress and anxiety often associated with family law and divorce matters.

Speak with our legal team today in a comprehensive and confidential consultation regarding the impact your current family law related issues may be having on your mental health. Contact us online, or through our Morristown, NJ office at (973) 710-4366.

Contact Our Morristown Attorneys Today

At Jacobs Berger, our attorneys are experienced in protecting our clients across Madison, Randolph, Tewksbury, Morristown, and the greater Morris County area in all family law-related issues.

To schedule a strategic planning session with one of our experienced team members regarding your particular case, please contact us online or through our Morristown, NJ office at (973) 354-4506.