For a lot of people who divorce, the aftermath of the breakup includes a bout with the black shadow – depression. In fact, depression should probably be seen as part of the normal pain and suffering that accompanies the breakup of a marriage.
Dr. Mark C. Yates, a clinical psychologist and therapist, says that “[t]here is no easy way to get over a depression. When there is a divorce, something has been lost. It always helps to have someone who can be your ally, without an agenda other than being on your side.”
People who divorce may bring unrealistic hopes to the breakup. “Divorce is one of the most disruptive things that can happen in your life. Individuals often have high hopes for divorces, convincing themselves it will make their lives better. Despite the reality that divorces are always painful, it rarely solves whatever problems already existed and create even more challenges; it does not, however, condemn anyone to unhappiness or sickness.
Generally, divorce adds difficulties and takes away things that are normally helpful,” says Dr. Yates.
“Single and divorced individuals tend to be more prone to depression and other mental illness,” says Dr. Yates, because “losing a spouse” strips the individual of “significant protective factors against mental and physical illness.”
“Divorce is the psychological equivalent of a triple coronary by-pass. After such a monumental assault on the heart, it takes years to amend all the habits and attitudes that led up to it,” says writer and journalist Mary Kay Blakely.