Not surprisingly, depression is the fourth non-linear stage in the divorcing spouse’s grieving process. According to Grief.com, depression is a signal that the grieving spouse is moving into the present, yet the empty feelings and sense of hopelessness can feel permanent and overpowering. In an article by First Wives World, the depressed grieving spouse may feel unable to get out of bed, stop crying, or even finish simple routine tasks.
A depressed divorcing spouse may have difficulty focusing on the divorce process, show an inability to problem solve or make decisions, and generally require a great deal of hand holding. A depressed spouse can be encouraged to achieve relatively simple goals without taking on too many tasks at one time. Importantly, this depression is not necessarily a sign of mental illness, but more likely an appropriate response to a great loss.
Nonetheless, if the divorcing spouse’s depression becomes too crippling, referral to a mental health professional is crucial.