The giggles you’re used to hearing everyday are gone, the ten thousand questions are now set to zero, and driving to after school activities is a thing of the past. And the list goes on, and on leaving you with an overwhelming feeling of emptiness.
These are just a few of the situations that accompany empty nest syndrome that leads to depression on multiple levels.
What is Empty Nest Syndrome
When parents are faced with the reality of empty nest syndrome, they’re faced with a smorgasbord of feelings. An overwhelming sadness and feeling of loss of “what used to be” is prevalent.
Although parents raise kids to be independent with goals to achieve, when the day comes when they decide to put both into action and leave home, letting go can be painful for parents.
The transition of having them home one day to helping them move the next brings additional sadness and stress resulting in depression. It is a change to the normal routine where the lack of the daily interaction and companionship and worry over your child being on their own takes a toll.
Dealing with Depression
There are several steps parents can take to help cope with empty nests.
- Above all else, stay positive in your thinking and focus it on other aspects of your life.
- Accept the choice of your child to move on with their life and support them in their decision.
- Stay in touch through phone calls, emails, text messages, online chat, and family gatherings if they’ve stayed close to home.
- For your own personal life, find other avenues to focus on such as volunteering, joining a book club, getting together with friends more often for lunch, dinner or a movie.
- Stay busy with projects or a new hobby such as gardening, painting, or arts and crafts.
For parents who find themselves unable to cope with empty nest syndrome, joining a support group is a viable option. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with other parents going through the same situation is a positive way to lessen stress.
When more one-on-one help is needed, choosing a professional for a consultation is a positive step. At Marks Psychiatry, you’ll receive the guidance and care necessary to help you overcome the effects of empty nest syndrome.
Contact our office by phone, fax or email for information on what we have to offer. It’s a call worth making.