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How to Cope With a Divorce

 

Everyone’s heard the “half of all marriages end in divorce” statistic. And like most things in life, the impact of this statistic is negligible until it happens to you.

Divorce is devastating, even under the best of circumstances. The sadness, stress, and emotions can be overwhelming at times. If you’re going through a painful divorce and it feels like you’re just not coping well, take heart — you can heal. We have some tips on how to cope with divorce as a man or a woman that should make today just a little bit better than yesterday.

Acknowledge Your Emotions

orange scissors cutting a marriage certificate refers to coping with divorce

To put it bluntly: It’s normal to be a mess. Divorce isn’t just the dissolution of a union; it’s saying goodbye to our dream of attaining our very own happily ever after. That feels terrible.

In fact, divorce requires a grieving process similar to what we go through when a loved one dies. It’s completely appropriate to feel a wide range of emotions — anger, sadness, fear, frustration, confusion — and there doesn’t need to be any rhyme or reason as to why you feel what at any given time.

The negative feelings will lessen over time, but in the meantime, give yourself permission to feel. Divorce is messy, but sometimes acknowledging that fact inherently makes it just a tiny bit easier. 

Go Easy on Yourself

You will likely be less productive than you normally are. That’s OK. You probably won’t feel like doing much of anything; that’s OK too. You don’t need to be superwoman. Treat yourself as you would treat your own sick best friend.

Granted, you can’t drop out of life completely, but it’s perfectly acceptable for your productivity and social life to take a downward turn while you go through a divorce. As long as you don’t stay there for months and months, this is to be expected.

Seek Support

This tip is vital: Lean on others for support. Talk, cry, express yourself — just don’t keep it bottled up inside. Allow your friends and family to be there for you. 

Sometimes we need more support than an understanding friend can give us. In these cases:

  • Look into divorce support groups. There are Facebook groups and other online forums as well as in-person meetups and church-based groups that will help you on how to cope with separation from your husband or wife. Start with a simple Google search to see what’s available and sounds good to you.
  • Seek professional counseling. If the pain of your divorce is too much or if you are having difficulty carrying out normal day-to-day activities, it may be time to seek divorce counseling. You could do therapy to help improve your life.

Care for Your Body and Mind

Stress can cause myriad health problems, including headaches, insomnia, exhaustion, overeating/weight gain, digestive problems and reduced immune function. In addition, stress can cause a host of ill emotional effects, including anxiety, depression, inability to focus, lack of motivation, irritability, and anger. No fun at all.

It’s essential you take care of your mind, body, and spirit during this time. Doing so will minimize the effects of stress, helping you to recover and move on. Now more than ever is the time to:

  • Eat well
  • Get regular exercise
  • Keep a regular sleeping schedule
  • Spend time in nature
  • Nurture your friendships
  • Make time to relax and do things you enjoy
  • Tend to your spirit through prayer/meditation (or whatever that means to you)

Avoid Power Struggles & Arguments with Your Ex

woman angry with her partner is on a restaurant and is dealing with divorce

One of the most important life lessons that will help you get through this difficult time is this: You can’t change other people. You can only change yourself and how you react to them.

Stop trying to force your ex to see it your way, be sorry for something, apologize, etc. Don’t get involved in power struggles that are only about being “right.” Refuse to participate in any manipulative or malevolent behavior. In the end, you’ll be happier for it.

Reconnect with Your Prenuptial Hobbies

Did you use to love to restore old furniture? Brew your own beer? Hike? Blog? Now is the time to resurrect any interests and activities you may have let slip when you became part of a couple. Or, explore new ones.

Set Time Aside for Positive Thinking

This is a simple yet powerful tool for overcoming any challenge, especially when going through a divorce. Most of us know that positive thinking is — well, positive —  but we don’t make a conscious, concerted effort to do it.

Change that. Block off just five minutes a day and devote them to manifesting good things in your life. Write them down in an “I deserve a joyful life” journal. Learn about the power of positive affirmations, and then do them.

Divorce is one of the toughest things a person can go through but you will get through it and be OK. Take time to grieve the loss, stick close to your loved ones and be good to yourself.

Life After Divorce

Coping with divorce can be difficult, but in every challenge, there is always a positive aspect to it. Amidst a painful separation, positive things can happen after going through a divorce, it is a matter of how you can identify and embrace these great things.

Great Things That Can Happen After Dealing With Divorce

1. It gives you a second chance at life and more opportunity to do the things you always wanted to do.
2. You can find more peace as opposed to when you were a part of a married couple.
3. It is much easier for you to handle challenging situations and you become fearless.
4. You feel more independent and confident in yourself.
5. You will discover who your real friends are who have supported you through the tough time.
6. You will be happier compared to when you were still married, you will no longer fight change and life starts to get easier.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional counselor if you feel overwhelmed or that you can’t go on. ThriveTalk provides online therapy and can help you get through this difficult time. You’re worth it!

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Porn Addiction is Sex Addiction: 6 Signs That You Need Help

 

Women’s relationships with porn have typically been contentious; it can be misunderstood and feel like a threat to women in relationships. Pornography has evolved though and is now practically considered mainstream media, especially internet porn. It’s free, easily accessible, anonymous and unlimited. Porn is not only less taboo than it’s been in decades previous, but it’s openly enjoyed by women too.

Porn-ormalcy for Women

Amanda de Cadenet, a contributing editor for Marie Claire, explored the porn culture among women in her two-year documentary project on the subject. In her study of more than 3,000 women, 31 percent watched porn every week or so, 90 percent watched internet porn and of those women who watched porn with their partner, 54 percent also watched alone and often.

Exposing women’s desires to watch porn can feel liberating and a way to embrace modern-day female sexuality. But if women are increasingly enjoying porn (and frequently), then subsequently women are also susceptible to developing pornography addiction just like men, a common type of sex addiction.

6 Red Flags of Porn Addiction

Medical Daily defines porn as problematic “when it starts to interfere with your everyday life.” Project Know, an online resource dedicated to treating addiction, identifies this form of sex addiction as a “behavioral addiction” with an insatiable compulsion to view explicit content. You may crave it, hide it, think nonstop about it and feel your life revolves around it. Your consumption of the material has reached an unhealthy level if you experience any of the following signs. These red flags indicate that you may be developing a pornography addiction in need of professional counseling and online therapy.

1. Increasingly Withdrawn

For addicts, watching porn is a secret. You may feel guilty or ashamed; your self-esteem declines. Porn may start to consume you to the point that you become isolated — seeking more and more porn over spending time with loved ones, and then finding it harder to find pleasure in everyday life. This can lead to anxiety disorder and depression, which intensifies a disconnection from others.

Example: You decline social events to stay at home alone with your laptop and feel bad about it.

2. Choose the Internet Over Anyone/Anything Else (Including Sleep)

Your partner, friends and family have questioned the amount of time you spend online. You can’t seem to satiate your cravings and continue to increase your screen time. The obsession to watch becomes all-encompassing and your only priority.

Example: You wake up in the middle of the night to get your fix. The sun comes up and you still can’t stop.

3. Emotionally Unavailable

Addicts are so fixated on watching porn that there’s no attention left for relationships. With porn as the focus of your life, you may become emotionally absent and disinterested in anything but the next moment you can access the internet.

Example: You’re on a date night at a movie and can’t stop counting down the minutes until you can get home to your ritual.

4. Lack of Interest in Sex & Low Sexual Attraction

Porn becomes your hobby, passion, best friend and now, new lover. Watching porn stars on screen is more sexually gratifying than real sex. Porn addicts may also become critical of their partner’s body or appearance, explains Hypersexual Disorders, which causes their sexual attraction to nose-dive. As your sex drive lowers, so does your partner’s self-esteem.

Example: You and your partner’s sex frequency becomes a heated topic. You’re barely aroused and just go through the motions during sex.

5. Sexually Incompatible

Over time, you explore more explicit types of porn to meet your needs. You may find that “traditional” porn is no longer pleasurable as you cross over into other more extreme pornographic areas. This translates poorly into your (non-existent) sex life.

Example: You prefer outrageous sexual fantasies over real-life intimacy. Your partner becomes a stranger.

6. Lying & Deceit

Your porn obsession really starts to spiral out of control when you catch yourself lying — about watching it, how often and why you’re distant. Not only is your relationship dissolving, but your honesty is disintegrating too. Feeling defensive or afraid that your partner will ask you to stop can lead to this habitual lying.

Example: You leave late for work or come home early to watch porn. You lie about your work schedule and that your job is on the line.

Recovery is Possible

Recovery from sex addiction is possible. The first step is to restore your relationship and gain control over your pornography addiction — and your life — is to truly want to. Next, open up to your partner and be honest that your strong urges overcome any attempt to stop. Project Know provides a list of statements, and if you agree with any of these, then treatment may be necessary. Ask your partner to become your support system as you seek online therapy at ThriveTalk.com. Remote counseling is a convenient way to connect with a certified therapist. Make an appointment and start your journey to recovery.

If you feel that a porn addiction is negatively impacting your life, please reach out for help today. Contact NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) to help get you connected with the right support services in your area by calling 1-800-950-6264. If you or someone you know is in crisis, whether you are considering suicide or not, please call the toll-free Lifeline at 800-273-8255 to speak with a trained crisis counselor 24/7.
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The 9 Types of Depression

 

Most people feel sad and alone from time to time; it is part of the human condition. Humans feel thingsand we often react to life’s stressors by feeling sad or withdrawn. But depression is different. Depression is a debilitating mental illness affecting more than 16.1 million American adults, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. There are nine types of depression, but all are marked by extreme sadness and persistent feelings of hopelessness, guilt, exhaustion and/or irritability. People who are depressed lose interest in life and in their daily activities, often wondering if “any of this is worth it.”

Women are almost twice as likely to experience depression, according to a recent report by the Mayo Clinic. It’s not 100 percent sure why depression affects more women than men — it’s likely due to a combination of factors, such as a stronger genetic predisposition to developing depression, hormonal changes, and various sociocultural explanations. 

If you’re feeling like you may be suffering from depression, you are not alone. Help is available. Learn about the various types of depression, and then reach out for help.

The Nine Types of Depression

Major Depressive Disorder

When someone experiences persistent and deep feelings of sadness for at least two weeks, then they may have a major depressive disorder (also referred to as “clinical depression”). Common symptoms of this type of depression include a change in appetite (overeating/undereating), change in sleep schedule (insomnia/excessive sleep), excessive crying, inability to concentrate, and of course, intense feelings of sadness.

Persistent Depressive Disorder

Also known as “dysthymia,” persistent depressive disorder is a type of chronic depression that can be difficult to diagnose. Dysthymia symptoms are not as severe as with major depressive disorder. If you have a pervasive, low-level depression that lasts for two years or longer, you may have a persistent depressive disorder.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

People with the seasonal affective disorder experience the classic signs of depression at the same time every year. Most people with SAD feel symptoms come on in the fall and continue through the winter months. Symptoms include fatigue, sadness and social isolation. Light therapy (also known as phototherapy treatment) can help alleviate this type of depression.

Bipolar Disorder

This used to be more commonly referred to as “manic-depressive illness.” Someone suffering from bipolar disorder experiences unusual and large shifts in mood and energy levels. They cycle through manic and depressive periods; in a manic episode, they may have lots of energy, experience racing thoughts and engage in risky behaviors such as having reckless sex. In a depressive episode, they will experience the classic symptoms of depression, including feeling sad and hopeless and having little energy for daily activities.

Psychotic Depression

Also known as “major depressive disorder with psychotic features,” this is a form of major depressive disorder accompanied by psychotic symptoms. Someone with psychotic depression experiences the same feelings of sadness and hopelessness found in major depression as well as delusions and hallucinations.

Postpartum Depression

This isn’t the “baby blues” (mood swings, crying spells) that many women have in the two weeks after giving birth postpartum depression is a more severe, long-lasting form of depression. In addition to experiencing the symptoms of major depression, women with postpartum depression may have trouble bonding with their baby or doubt their ability to care for it. They may also think about harming themselves or their baby.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

This is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome. All the common PMS symptoms may be present along with extreme sadness, irritability or anger. The symptoms of PMDD almost always resolve with the onset of menstruation.

Situational Depression

This is a short-term form of depression that comes about following a traumatic event — loss of a loved one, job loss, divorce, etc. Also referred to as “adjustment disorder,” someone suffering from situational depression will feel sad, afraid or hopeless. As you adjust to your new normal, situational depression usually goes away.

Atypical Depression

Atypical depression can occur in people with major depression or persistent depression. It’s a subtype of these types of depression marked by several specific symptoms, including increased appetite/weight gain, fatigue, moods that temporarily lift in reaction to good news, extremely sensitivity to rejection and headaches.

Please Reach Out

If you feel you may be suffering from one of the above types of depression, take heart. You don’t have to suffer alone, and recovery is possible. Start by scheduling a time to chat with a professional counselor at ThriveTalk.

If you feel that depression is negatively impacting your life, please reach out for help today. Contact NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) to help get you connected with the right support services in your area by calling 1-800-950-6264. If you or someone you know is in crisis, whether you are considering suicide or not, please call the toll-free Lifeline at 800-273-8255 to speak with a trained crisis counselor 24/7.