I Got Depression After I Moved Out (5 coping tips)

In this article, we will discuss what it means to experience depression after one relocates, why one feels down after relocating, and how to overcome relocation depression.

I Got Depression After I Moved Out.

Experiencing feelings of depression after moving out or moving to a new place is known as Relocation Depression. It is described as a mood disorder by the APA. Depression is a common side effect of relocation and it’s experienced differently by each individual. A little bit of sadness is completely normal after a big move.

What is relocation depression?

Relocation depression refers to a sense of overwhelming and sadness that a person feels for a prolonged period of time as a result of moving. Moving can refer to anything away from the place one identifies as home. It can manifest in different people differently lasting for a few weeks, months, or even years.

The most common question that arises from such feelings is why does one feels depressed after moving even though there was excitement by the prospect of a new city and new experiences that come along with moving?

This could be because as one leaves and relocates, it indicates new beginnings but it also makes people realize that a part of their life is over. Some might get excited about moving and starting new but it can also be difficult and depressing for others, to leave behind everything they know and only memory remains.

Moving to a new place can be very stressful because there are many things that one needs to figure out. A mix of this with missing people back home can turn into a quick recipe for feelings of sadness, depression, loneliness, and even anxiety. There can be many causes as to why one feels sad when moving and what these causes can look like.

Fear of the Unknown

Fear of the unknown is synonymous with loss of the known. Both of these situations are taking place simultaneously when one relocates. When one is in known territory, they’re comfortable even if they’re alone because they’re aware of how to get around, a favorite place to eat, to exercise, where to get groceries from, etc. When one moves, they have to start from scratch, this can be totally terrifying. All this leaves one feeling lost, confused, and uncertain about what life is going to be like.

Loneliness

When one moves, most times they’re absolutely alone in that city or town. To figure out everything on their own, settle down, get used to the new ways, the climate, the culture can make one realize how absolutely alone they are. These feelings of loneliness instead of getting better get stronger and develop into depression. Even though one meets people at a new job or at college, it can be difficult for some people to open up and make new friends. Some people take more time than others to get comfortable and mingle

Coping with change

We get so dependent on routines and familiarity that when it gets disrupted it gives rise to anxiety. In the initial stages of transition, one is likely to feel confused and uncertain. A big change can feel like a physical blow sometimes. Change is difficult because it makes us question how we think, work, our sense of identity. All such questions about change and coping with it catch up and leave an individual saturated and stressed. Instead of being a victim of chance, we should try to be a part of the chance because change is inevitable.

Symptoms of relocation depression

The symptoms of relocation depression are not very different from what we understand by depression otherwise. Some of these symptoms include-

·         Feeling sad or empty

·         Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, helplessness, and hopelessness

·         Loss of interest in activities one previously gained pleasure from.

·         Changed patterns of eating; either excessively or very little.

·         Feeling low on energy and lethargic

·         Always feeling nervous or agitated

·         Difficulty in concentrating

·         Feelings of irritability and increased fatigue

·         Experiencing trouble sleeping or too much sleeping

·         Difficulty concentrating.

·         An increase in the consumption of alcohol and drugs.

·         No desire to meet new people or socialize

·         Unwillingness to leave the house and excessive indulging in television or social media

Overcoming Relocation Depression

Indulging in some exercise

According to studies, the cardio exercise is just as effective in treating depression as taking antidepressants. For someone experiencing depression, it can be difficult to exercise but it’s important to push oneself and take baby steps. Once you start you’ll see the difference and start feeling better.

Social invitations

Relocation depression often comes out of loneliness and missing loved ones. Going out and meeting new people can help you feel better. Call up your old friends and family to share your new experience, thoughts, and feelings.

Breaking the monotony

One often gets so caught up in settling in and coping with the job or studies that the whole process can end up taking a toll on the individual. It’s important to break this cycle by experiencing new things like restaurants, music trails, hiking, museums, etc. Whatever it is that interests you, indulge in it actively.

Healthier Eating

Eating healthy has positive effects on the mood of an individual. It makes one feel lighter and less drowsy. Cutting back on alcohol and caffeine is important. Alcohol is a depressant and caffeine is a stimulant. Increased consumption will only enhance the symptoms one might be feeling.

Conclusion

In this article, we discussed what it means to experience depression after one relocates, why one feels down after relocating, and how to overcome relocation depression.

FAQ: relocation depression

How to overcome depression after moving to houses?

Indulging in some exercise
According to studies, the cardio exercise is just as effective in treating depression as taking antidepressants. For someone experiencing depression, it can be difficult to exercise but it’s important to push oneself and take baby steps. Once you start you’ll see the difference and start feeling better.

Social invitations
Relocation depression often comes out of loneliness and missing loved ones. Going out and meeting new people can help you feel better. Call up your old friends and family to share your new experience, thoughts, and feelings.

Breaking the monotony
One often gets so caught up in settling in and coping with the job or studies that the whole process can end up taking a toll on the individual. It’s important to break this cycle by experiencing new things like restaurants, music trails, hiking, museums, etc. Whatever it is that interests you, indulge in it actively.

Healthier Eating
Eating healthy has positive effects on the mood of an individual. It makes one feel lighter and less drowsy. Cutting back on alcohol and caffeine is important. Alcohol is a depressant and caffeine is a stimulant. Increased consumption will only enhance the symptoms one might be feeling.

How to avoid feeling depressed and lonely in a new city?

Relocation depression often comes out of loneliness and missing loved ones. Going out and meeting new people can help you feel better. Call up your old friends and family to share your new experience, thoughts, and feelings. One often gets so caught up in settling in and coping with the job or studies that the whole process can end up taking a toll on the individual. It’s important to break this cycle by experiencing new things like restaurants, music trails, hiking, museums, etc. Whatever it is that interests you, indulge in it actively.

Is it normal to feel depressed after moving to a new place?

Depression is a common side effect of relocation and it’s experienced differently by each individual. A little bit of sadness is completely normal after a big move. Being in a completely new environment on one’s own can get tiring and lonely and happens to everyone. The stress that comes along with the things related to moving also might get overpowering. Try to find new places and meet new people to get back on track. While feeling sad is normal after relocation but if you feel that your symptoms are severe it is advised to seek help from a professional.

How long does it take to adapt to a new environment?

It can take some time to get used to a new place but it also differs from person to person. It can turn out a little more difficult for people who introverted and not very sociable. It is important to accept the change for one to adapt to a new environment. Being hung up on the past is no good. Set goals for yourself, indulge in exploring the new city and make your new place a homely spot to make yourself feel better.

How do I stop being overwhelmed when I move?

One cannot control how they feel so if you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s ok. It’s also important to remember to not get hung up on these feelings and work towards breaking the state and making it better. Relocation is challenging but one has to find ways to overcome it.

Citations

https://www.getbellhops.com/blog/relocation-depression/

https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/depression/relocation-depression-when-moving-makes-you-sad/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/is-where-you-belong/201607/why-youre-miserable-after-move

Divya is currently a Clinical Psychology Trainee in a Master of Philosophy program and holds a Master’s in clinical psychology. She has a special interest in Personality studies and disorders, having researched the subject before, and Neuropsychology; with an additional interest being Mood disorders. She likes to write about Psychiatric issues, having worked in multiple specialty setups during her time as a clinical psychology student, and in her free time she likes to cook and read.