Divorce is said to be one of the most stressful events in life. Post-divorce depression is a serious mental disorder that can affect all aspects of daily life.

Common Psychological Damages After Divorce

Divorce is said to be one of the most stressful events in life. Adjusting to life after divorce can take from a few weeks to many years. During that time, a person may experience many different emotions. They may also be more susceptible to certain conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and various physical problems.

It's natural to feel anxious or depressed after a divorce, but if these feelings persist and begin to cause problems in daily life, it could be a sign of depression. In some people, post-divorce depression can occur with different behaviors, such as denying responsibility; avoiding family and friends; lack of concentration; and always being in a "fighting" state.

Post-divorce depression can seriously affect all aspects of a person's daily life. It is important to recognize and take timely intervention measures to prevent the condition from becoming more serious.

Signs Of Depression After Divorce

Most people associate sadness with depression, however, sadness is only one of many symptoms of depressive disorders. Other common symptoms of this disorder include:

  • Loss of appetite

  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities

  • Difficulty sleeping or insomnia

  • Irritability

  • Fatigue

  • Easily emotional, cry a lot

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Feeling hopeless and pessimistic; feeling useless

  • Having suicidal thoughts and even attempting suicidal acts

Depression in men and women is expressed differently. Depression in women often manifests as sadness, feelings of worthlessness, and guilt. Meanwhile, symptoms of depression in men include irritability, difficulty sleeping, alcohol abuse, or even drug use. Overall, women are more likely to experience post-divorce depression than men, however, men are less likely to talk openly about their depression.

WARNING: The symptoms listed are for reference only. If you suspect you have depression, see a psychologist or mental health professional to get an accurate diagnosis of your issues.

Why Can Divorce Make A Person Depressed?

Many causes can lead to depression after divorce, the most common of which are:

Emotional Upheaval

Depending on the varying causes, divorce can lead to intense emotions such as sadness, anger, or frustration. If these emotions linger, they can lead to depression. Studies show that people with high levels of neuroticism and melancholy are more likely to develop depression after divorce.

Financial Instability

Financial challenges that come with divorce include dividing assets, paying child support (or lack thereof), alimony, or changes in insurance. All these factors create a feeling of uncertainty and contribute to the development of depression.

Lifestyle Changes

After a divorce, a person's life can change a lot, and adjusting to these changes can be difficult. Individuals often feel like they have lost awareness and purpose in life, don't know what to do with their free time, or even don't know who they are in this new reality.

Social Isolation

When people divorce, their friendships and social groups may change. For example, a person will not see the partner’s family often, or mutual friends between the couple may take sides and keep their distance. Reduced social connection can lead to feelings of loneliness, disconnection, and ultimately depression. In certain cultures, divorce is heavily stigmatized, which then causes a person to isolate themselves from friends and family, and the other way around.

How Does Post-Divorce Depression Affect Life?

Like regular depressive disorder, post-divorce depression can significantly affect an individual's physical and mental health. The most common risks of post-divorce depression include:

Deterioration Of Mental Health

Although depression itself is already a complicated mental condition, it can also cause other mental disorders. Research shows that depressive disorders are associated with anxiety disorders, panic attacks, and specific phobias. Therefore, in addition to problems such as insomnia and mood changes, individuals may experience other, more serious complications.

Physical Health Problems

When someone feels stressed after a divorce, it can also affect his or her physical health. Depression can negatively affect many parts of the body, including the heart, kidneys, and immune system. Individuals may feel tired, lose weight, have headaches, or experience stomach problems. These are common physical health problems associated with post-divorce depression.

Drug Or Alcohol Abuse

Some people may use alcohol, drugs, or other substances to cope with post-divorce depression. However, this behavior only makes their physical and mental health worse and can lead to irreversible health damage.

Suicidal Thoughts

Depression is considered the leading risk factor for suicidal thoughts. People with depression often feel emotional pain and numbness caused by physiological problems in the nervous system. Usually, they may not even realize that they have a health problem that requires medical or psychological treatment.

Overcoming Depression After Divorce

Take Care Of Yourself

When you fall into negative emotions after a divorce, taking care of yourself is one of the important things to do to overcome depression. A healthy diet and lifestyle can help you fight this disorder. Exercise can also help alleviate grief. When you exercise, your brain releases several joy-inducing hormones that make you feel good. As a result, exercises help improve mood, enhance cognitive abilities, and regulate emotions.

Depression increases the risk of difficulty falling asleep and insomnia, and if this condition lasts for a long time, it can make depressive disorders worse. If you have trouble sleeping, develop habits that calm your body and mind, such as drinking a cup of chamomile tea, taking a bath, or reading a book. Avoid using electronic devices before bed because they can prevent you from settling into sleep.

In particular, "pamper" yourself and allow yourself to relax. You can take time to soak in the bath or simply watch a good movie. If you have children, ask a relative, or friend or hire a nanny to watch them for one to two hours a day so you have time for yourself.


Even if you have relatives and friends around to support you, you should still write down your thoughts. Even if you need closure, consider writing a letter to your ex-spouse as another way to release your emotions, but you don't need to send them the letter.

Seek Help From Family and Friends

Isolation is one of the factors that contribute to depression, so don't hesitate to ask for help from family and friends. Also, socialize more. Spending time with people who are willing to listen helps change your mental state. Face-to-face meetings are ideal, however, if that's difficult for you, talk on the phone or communicate online at least once a day.

Participate In Groups With Common Situations

Joining similar groups can be an important part of helping treat depression. These can be professional support groups established by organizations and agencies, or they can be groups of people in the same situation on social networking sites. You can feel understood and shared in a safe and judgment-free environment. Besides, group members can share experiences and stress reduction techniques.

When Is Psychotherapy Needed?

Make an appointment with your doctor or psychologist if you have symptoms of depression that last more than two weeks. Besides using medication, psychological therapies can help you with depression gain new perspectives and find better ways to cope with your issues. Some popular psychotherapy methods often used to treat depressive disorders include Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT); Behavioral Activation Therapy (BA); Interpersonal Therapy; and Problem-solving therapy.

If you are contemplating suicide, call psychological treatment facilities or contact the Vietnam - France Psychology Institute via Hotline: 0979.158.463. Opening up about your feelings to someone you don't know over can be easier than talking to a relative or friend. This helps create a safe space where you can share, thereby reducing pressure and anxiety.

If you feel you are having symptoms of depression, go to a medical facility for timely examination and diagnosis, or contact the Vietnam - France Psychology Institute via Hotline: 0979.158.463 for specific advice. Early intervention is key to improving health and quality of life.


[1] Tổng Quan Về Rối Loạn Trầm Cảm. https://tamlyvietphap.vn/roi-loan-tram-cam/tong-quan-ve-roi-loan-tram-cam-2452-62402-article.html

[2] Depression after divorce: Coping tips and more. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/depression-after-divorce#help-and-support

[3] Managing Depression After Divorce. https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/depression-and-divorce#your-doctor

[4] Overcoming Depression After Divorce. https://psychcentral.com/depression/ways-to-beat-depression-after-a-divorce#recap

[5] Post-Divorce Depression: Causes, Risks, and Treatment. https://www.rtor.org/2023/08/31/post-divorce-depression-causes-risks-and-treatment/



HEADQUARTER & PSYCHOTHERAPY CENTER: WINCO Building, 54 Tran Quoc Vuong Street, Dich Vong Hau Ward, Cau Giay District, Hanoi, Vietnam

PSYCHOTHERAPY CENTER IN HCMC: Landmark 81 & Landmark Plus, Vinhomes Central Park, 720A Dien Bien Phu Street, Ward 22, Binh Thanh District, HCMC, Vietnam

Phone: 0979.158.463 (Business hours)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ic.vfpi/

Bài viết liên quan

Gọi cho tôi

Hãy gửi thông tin cho chúng tôi, nhân viên tư vấn của Viện sẽ liên hệ lại Quý khách trong vòng 24h. Thông tin của Quý khách chỉ để chúng tôi liên hệ và không gửi cho bên thứ ba.

Tài nguyên

Trắc nghiệm