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Going Through Major Life Changes And Becoming Depressed: How Therapy Can Help


We try to take control of our lives as much as we can. We schedule appointments, plan for vacations, and buy groceries and go about our day.

But if there’s one inevitable thing in life, it’s when we’re faced with major changes, big or small, that can resonate and scar us.

It’s difficult to adapt to change since even positive life changes can create some stress. A person goes through many life changes over the course of a lifetime. Some of these transitions, such as weddings, pregnancies, and new careers, are mostly optimistic, although their own stressors may follow them.

Many who have trouble adjusting to life changes can find it useful to talk to a therapist to respond better to changes that they cannot manage.

The Types of Major Life Adjustments

Anything that changes your life or lifestyle substantially is a huge life change. It may be a seemingly optimistic transition, or it may be a negative or utterly unpredictable change. It may not sound so important to others, but it will apply to you.

Depending on the area of your life, a major transition comes with its own stressors:

  • Social: moving to an unfamiliar city, a breakup with a close friend
  • Family: a loved one’s passing, family dispute
  • Financial: being in debt, losing a job
  • Health: an unexpected diagnosis of an acute or chronic disease for yourself or a loved one, disability from an accident

Multiple stressors include certain life changes. For instance, a new baby can cause financial tension and family conflict. If you divorced and moved away from your relatives and friends, stressors could include depression, loss of support, and health concerns. When you lose your job and your partner has a diagnosis of a chronic illness this will cause more stress as you figure out how to pay for the medical treatment and try to support your loved one.

Huge life changes can cause depression and anxiety. Stress can also exacerbate some conditions like bipolar disorder, causing mood problems to worsen.

Why Major Life Changes Affect You Deeply

There is an explanation of why big changes in life affect our mental health, and it’s because of how our brain functions.

It stimulates the conflict receptors in the brain as you experience a life change, and this generates brain chaos that we call cognitive dissonance. This triggering makes it stressful for people.

Not everybody goes through cognitive dissonance. How transition affects our mental health is dictated by personality. Change is easier to swallow for those looking for excitement, although those who are at ease with the status quo will find major life changes more difficult.

Many people have diverse ways of adapting to or coping with drastic changes that affect their lives or lifestyles. Even usually optimistic people can lose their positive attitude if they face any major life changes. Losing familiar spaces, relationships and habits can cause feeling disheartened and depression may develop.

How Can You Become Depressed because of a Major Life Change

Our capacity to logically process data becomes compromised when we become stressed. We are more likely to see something in a negative light when we may not normally see them. This causes a depressive cycle because our ability to see the bright side of change is weakened and we build a false consciousness of our conditions.

Significant life changes take us often into an unknown future, especially if they were unanticipated. We may feel exhausted and depressed because we have missed a way of life that is familiar to us. We then start feeling much more hopeless and depressed that may interrupt our way of thinking and lifestyle.

Make the Best of a Major Life Change with Therapy

Not only is change necessary, but it can open up to new possibilities as well, particularly when they come from the pits of suffering and disappointment. We have a much greater chance of sustaining our emotional health through big life changes and making our way to a future that brings many new opportunities for growth when we can be open to the unexpected with self-care, self-love, and encouragement.

If you realize that you don’t adjust well to major life changes, talk to a therapist for depression therapy and counseling. Many forms of therapy can help you deal with drastic life changes. This way, you can brace for changes and be more prepared to face them.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit our Depression Counseling page or call 919-647-4600.

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