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How to Deal with Empty Nest Syndrome Depression
One day they were starting their first day of kindergarten, and the next, they were moving out.
Unfortunately, being a parent is a lot about letting go, and it is isn’t always easy. When your youngest child wants to start their own independent life, it is natural to feel a whirlwind of emotions. You may now be dealing with empty nest syndrome.
What Is Empty Nest Syndrome?Empty nest syndrome is the name given to the feeling that many parents get after their last child is no longer living at home or “leaves the nest.” A lot of parents, women especially, go through empty nest syndrome. It is commonly used to describe how parents feel when the youngest child leaves for college or finally moves out. Some common empty nest syndrome symptoms include loneliness, loss of purpose, distress, and depression.
For some people, dealing with that empty nest feeling isn’t easy. While empty nest syndrome is not a mental health disorder, empty nest syndrome depression is. If your depression from empty nest syndrome is severe or lasts for an extended amount of time, this could be a sign that you need professional mental health treatment.
How to Cope with Being an Empty Nester & DepressionA lot of parents go through it, but that doesn’t mean that you should know how to deal with empty nest syndrome depression on your own or that you should have to. As a South Florida residential mental health facility, we are sharing some tips to help you cope with empty nest syndrome depression instead of letting it overwhelm you.
Fill Your Free TimeEspecially if you are a single parent or have a close relationship with your child, it can be daunting to come home to a big empty house. Instead of shutting down and staying home alone, you should try to push yourself to get out there. You could try meeting up with friends, join a class, go to the gym, or take up a new hobby. Even simply going for a walk outside could help. Filling your free time and staying busy can keep your mind off of your sadness.
Avoid Drugs and AlcoholWhen feeling depressed or lonely, it is not unusual for some people to turn to drugs or alcohol to try and numb the pain or loneliness after their child moves out of the family home. While this may provide temporary relief, it does not help in the long-run and can often make your mental health worse. Sometimes this coping habit can turn to addiction and the result is a cycle of poor mental health and substance abuse. If you are stuck in this cycle already, our Boca dual diagnosis treatment center could help you with both problems.
Find SupportYou are not alone. A lot of parents go through empty nest syndrome depression, but there are a lot of resources out there that offer support. Talk to friends in the same situation, go on an online forum, read a book on the topic, seek out a psychiatrist, or join a support group for empty nesters. Getting the support of others could help you feel less lonely.
Ask for HelpCoping with some sadness is one thing but dealing with depression is another. Unless you are a licensed professional, you probably do not know how to deal with empty nest syndrome depression on your own. Instead of trying to get through it alone, our depression treatment in South Florida could help you through this.
At Banyan Mental Health, we understand that depression isn’t something that you can simply overcome. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or another mental health problem, ask for help.