Kids: Here’s How To Cope with Anxiety and Depression During Divorce

Anxiety and Depression | DivorceAdviceForChildren.comIf you’re parents are going through a divorce, you might be having a difficult time. You might be feeling how this could significantly affect your life. Instead of having a family unit that’s together and close and working as one, you might feel the split and separation of your parents breaking apart.

The following are some basic suggestions that might be useful. It’s hard because as children you’re the ones who need the protection, love, and security of having a family. And yet, your parents might not be able to provide that for you. Your parents might be too caught up in their own feelings to be able to ensure that you’re feeling safe in the middle of the chaos.

Talk To Your Parents: There are often many feelings that arise when you’re in the middle of your parents divorcing. And along with the feelings, there are tons of questions! For this reason, keep asking your parents questions. Let them know how you feel. Talk to them about your concerns, worries, fears, frustrations. If you isolate yourself, your feelings might fester. Stay communicative so that you’re relationship with your parents can continue instead of breakdown.

Find A Way to Calm Yourself: During a divorce, your emotions may change frequently, too. You may feel stressed out, angry, frustrated, or sad. You might even feel the need to protect one of your parents. Or you might feel as though you are being abandoned or left out of the picture. Find a way to manage your emotions. One way you can do this is to talk to another adult. Perhaps you can have that adult contact a therapist or psychologist for you. Having extra support such as therapy, friends, siblings, and coping mechanisms can support you through this process.

Know That You Are Loved: It might be easy to feel unloved during a parental divorce. Perhaps you feel as though you did something wrong. Or perhaps you feel that the love between your parents is no longer available for you to feel safe in. A good reminder during this time is know that each of your parents love you. Although they might be going through a difficult time, each of them loves you in their own way.

Know That It’s Not Your Fault:  Some kids feel guilty about what happened, or wish they had prevented arguments by cooperating more within the family, doing better with their behavior, or getting better grades. But separation and divorce are a result of a couple’s problems with each other, not with their kids. The decisions adults make about divorce are their own. Did you know it’s really common for teens to think that their parents’ divorce is somehow their fault? Just try to remember that parents’ decisions to split up are to do with issues between them, and not because of something you might have done or not done.

Parents divorce for many reasons. They could decide that they no longer want to live together. One of them might have an addiction. One parent might fall in love with someone else. Or one parent might feel angry and feel the need to leave. At times, parents simply fight too much and make the decision that it would be easier to end the relationship. Whatever the reason, you are not the reason for their divorce. Knowing this is important. Continuing to get the support you need throughout the divorce can help prevent feelings of depression and anxiety. Continuing to know that you are loved can ease the pain of loss.