For thousands of parents, the end of summer also brings the arrival of “the empty nest syndrome,” when one or more children leave home for college. Middle age brings many life changes one of which is having to discover living a new lifestyle – an “empty nest” one. A parent may experience sadness, grief, loss, and loneliness when the children leave home; for many, these negative feelings may linger on, developing into depression.
Treatment for Empty Nest Depression
It is normal to feel sadness, grief and loss when a child leaves home; however, when those emotions interfere with your daily life it is imperative to seek professional help. Empty nest syndrome’s emotions, fears and depression are treatable. This can be a time to enjoy new freedom in your life as well as realizing that without having a child at home there are new adventures waiting just ahead.
Seek Help with Severe Symptoms
Painful emotions and feelings that become stronger and more severe signal that it is time to seek professional help. Following is a list of symptoms that may occur during empty nest syndrome depression – if you recognize any of these symptoms in yourself, call for mental health help:
- Excessive crying
- Feeling that your life is now useless with nothing left to live for
- Avoidance of friends; relationships damaged
- Calling in at work; job performance impaired
- Losing your sense of identity
- Mood related changes in appetite
- Constant worry and anxiety over child’s welfare
- Insomnia, low energy and poor concentration
- Finding no joy in life any longer
- Looking for solace in alcohol and drugs
- Thoughts of suicide or of harming yourself
Empty Nest Syndrome Help
If you experience symptoms of depression that are interfering with your life, call the office to set up a confidential appointment. Learn to manage your symptoms to begin enjoying life once again.