The Connection Between Men, Divorce and Depression

Some studies have suggested that men take the loss of a relationship harder than a woman and are more likely to suffer periods of depression after a divorce. We read and hear about depression in women after divorce but what about the men? Maybe we hear more about women and depression because women talk about their feelings more than men.

For the emotional wellbeing of men, this needs to change.  Men first need to recognize they are suffering from depression and then seek help for the depression. This means getting past the stigma associated with men, their "feelings" and society's expectations of men. Admitting to feelings that are hard to deal with makes no man, less a man. And, understanding that is the first step in getting help if you are a man suffering depression after your divorce. 

First, you must idenitfy the symptoms of depression. Next, speak to your doctor about a referral to a good therapist. Lastly, open up and begin to heal.  

6 Symptoms of Depression in Men:

Problems Focusing or Remembering Things

Depression can affect your ability to make decisions, think clearly, perform complicated tasks, concentrate, and remember things. You may leave the house and not be able to remember whether or not you locked the door.

You may be having low job performance due to an inability to concentrate on the work at hand. Your life is one big question mark and no one seems to have any answers...especially not you!

Alcohol or Substance Abuse:

Why do alcohol and depression go hand in hand? That is any easy one...alcohol can lift your mood and if you drink enough you can drink yourself right into oblivion. There is truth in that old saying, "drowning your sorrows in booze."

The only problem with self-medicating with alcohol is, the long term use of alcohol will exacerbate the symptoms of depression. It is a fix that is only temporary so, if you feel the need for a drink, drink in moderation.

Inappropriate Anger:

Anger is healthy, as long as it is expressed appropriately. My therapist told me that my depression was anger turned inward. I was angry over the idea that my marriage had failed. Once I began to express my angerI had to learn how to express it in a healthy and productive way.

Our society teaches us that anger is something that is negative, improper, dangerous and evil. We tend to repress anger instead of express anger. It is that repression that can lead to the ultimate display of inappropriate anger.

Loss of Interest in Hobbies, Work or Sex

It isn't uncommon during an episode of depression to lose interest in everything that once brought you pleasure. I spoke with a male friend who was going through a divorce and suffering from depression.

He told me that he thought about playing golf but couldn't make himself actually go play a round of golf. He said, "the desire to play is still there, the drive has gone missing." Nothing is more confusing than no longer desiring the things that once made you feel so alive.

Feelings of Guilt and Worthlessness:

Feelings of guilt and worthlessness should be acknowledged and dealt with. They should not be clung to though. Most who go through a divorce have done nothing that warrants feelings of guilt or worthlessness. If you cheated on your wife and left for another woman you should feel remorse.

If you are feeling a sense of remorse over the hurt you caused then expresses it, let it go and move on. Feelings of guilt inhibit us from responding to the people we have hurt and to the pain we have caused them. Put feelings of guilt and worthlessness aside by showing remorse for whatever it is you believe you've done that is harmful to others.


According to WebMd "depression and fatigue may feed off each other in a vicious cycle that makes it hard to determine where one begins and the other ends." When you think about it, it makes sense. When we are depressed we find it hard to do anything. If we sit around depressed the more unfit we become physically. Movement promotes energy so, regardless of whether you feel up to it or not get out and exercise your way through the divorce process.

How Did You Cope With Negative Emotions During Your Divorce?

Are you moving on after a divorce? Why not share how you coped with negative emotions during your divorce? Describe what happened and what you found most useful in helping you move on after your divorce. Doing so will help other readers benefit from your experience.