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Depression Triggers continued...

Depression Trigger: Empty Nest

Many women devote their lives to raising children, but that leaves them feeling as empty as their “nest” when their kids go off to college or begin their own life as an adult, says Saltz.

Mood-Boosting Strategy

“Plan for it,” she says. “It can be the time for you to start taking classes, go back to school, or start a hobby,” she says. You are not alone. “Find other empty nesters for camaraderie.”

Depression Trigger: Caregiver Stress

There is a high rate of depression among people who take care of a loved one with a chronic illness, says Saltz. It can be physically and emotionally grueling.

Mood-Boosting Strategy

It’s not selfish to take care of yourself, says Saltz. “You need to eat well, sleep well, and get exercise or you will not be able to take care of your loved one,” she says. Many caregivers take on too much. “Be realistic about what your loved one needs and what you can provide,” she says. “Call in other family members to help. You don’t have to be the one and only.” Support groups for caregivers can also provide a safe place to talk about your frustrations and grief.

Depression Trigger: Loss

Losing a loved one is never easy. Some people may be able to get past the loss after a certain amount of grieving time. Others may spiral into a deep depression.

Mood-Boosting Strategy

Don’t go it alone, says Bea. “Join a support group.” Individual or group counseling can also help you come to terms with your loss. Medication may play a role too. If you are already on medication, it is possible that your doctor may want to adjust your dose or add another drug to help you get through a rough patch. “Help is available,” he says. Talk to your doctor about your depression to find the best treatment plan for you.

Depression Trigger: Marriage Problems/Divorce

It can be stressful and upsetting to be in a toxic relationship, but change and starting over can be scary -- even if you know it’s for the best, Saltz says.