Depression and Divorce/Separation

Recently I was provided with a list of psychotropic medications that are commonly used to address mental health issues.  The handout listed 27 different formulations used to treat depression.  I do not always remember to ask my clients about their mental health issues, but my assumption is that if they are in my office, they are experiencing some kind of depression issue.  This depression is most probably ‘transitory’, and will diminish naturally, but divorce and separation are serious issues and cause serious stress.  If a client is particularly sad, forgetful, angry, or calls me more frequently than normal, I will recommend that the speak to their physician and/or to a therapist to help them through the process.  Some people feel that there is a stigma to depression, but in family law the stigma is all but gone.  As an Early Neutral Evaluator, I am more concerned about untreated depression or denial about depressive symptoms than I am about someone who is seeing a therapist and taking medication.

Two things about treatment of depression:

  1. There are 27 different formulations because everyone’s body chemistry is different.  Just like one kind of shampoo may not work best for every hair type, one anti depressant medication does not work for every individual.  This is where communication with a physician is important:  if one medication isn’t working or is giving side effects, try another.  And keep trying until something fits.
  2. Other, more holistic approaches are out there.  Diet has been linked to depression, as has lack of exercise, as has lack of daylight.  Especially important in Minnesota this time of year.  I use what I call my ‘happy light’, a full-spectrum lamp, every morning during the months of November through February.  I read the paper by it.  It doesn’t truly substitute for a trip to St. Lucia, but it helps.  I have recommended these to my clients as well.  As always, ask your physician for their input, but if you try a ‘happy light’  and it works, by all means share with your doctor.  Good physicians are always looking for other, non-medication related treatments.

The Huffington Post published an article about who is most at risk at //www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/27/divorce-study_n_3824220.html.  Knowledge is power.

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