Relocation Depression is a Real Thing

By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

Genuine dialogue here. Moving to Houston to a new home is stressful under the best scenario. You're exiting your home--where you've made a life for yourself and your loved ones--and starting once again in a unfamiliar area. Without a doubt, the move alone is exciting--an adrenaline rush that goes on for weeks as you discover a new house, load up the previous one, and become settled with the family into their new routines. 
Yet after the boxes are unpacked and you've determined the best path to the dry cleaners, the new reality sets in--you're in a new place, and your good friends and social life are back in your old area--the location you at present think of as "home". And everything appears out of whack--there is a sense of being misplaced, and you are uncertain if it's an actual or subconscious place, but it is simply not right. It's not home.

These indicators may be beyond the post-move blues. It's possible that you may have something known as "relocation depression". Relocation depression is actually a thing--the onset is after most of the hubbub of the move disperses--and needs to be given serious attention and diagnosed in case you can't get rid of it by yourself.  

Symptoms to Look out for

These are generally a few of the symptoms to watch out for, the occurrence of several of these in a couple of week period means it's time to get some professional help. 

You Can't Get Out of Bed 

And when you do, you're lethargic and really do not have the vitality to get through the day. Insomnia can be another sign of depression; you're drained constantly, but you are unable to go to sleep. Or it is possible to sleep--12 hours at a time and you're still lethargic. 

Absence of Interest in Anything 

In your old residence or town, you had your agenda and your stuff--work, buddies, interests--that filled your days. Nowadays, you've got work, but your buddies didn't come along with you and it's tough to get passionate about your hobbies if, similar to a third-grader, you don't have anyone to play with. Grownups needs pals too, so never feel bad or remorseful that you're a bit lonely. 

If you just can't get enthusiastic about anything--pastimes, your job, finding new pals, getting together with family--chances are it's really a sign of depression. Together with the blahs comes not being able to focus--if something may get your attention, it would not last but a few minutes and you'd zone out. 

Unwillingness to Depart from the Home 

The new residence is your safe haven, and you simply don't want to get away from it. After all, you've got television shows for binging, and your social network to check. Social networking can be a double-edged sword because it enables you to stay up with acquaintances, but it can also aid and abet in your keeping in and not making new friends.  

How to Beat Relocation Depression

There are some things that can be done to lift the fog, so attempt these and determine if you feel better. 

Get Some Exercise--Active people feel healthier, so get out and just walk around the block two or three times a day. If you have a dog this is a built-in justification to get out. Build up that outside time each day. 

Decrease or Eliminate Alcohol--This is a depressant, so it's best to stay away from it until you're feeling better. 

Interact with People--Take a class or join a newcomers group. Volunteer--extra hands and abilities are frequently welcome. Just a few new contacts makes a significant difference. 

Consider Something New--Go to galleries, cafes, cinema, restaurants--explore your new area and get to know it. Keeping busy is like exercise--it keeps the adrenaline moving along and you will have more energy. 

In case these solutions really don't help, find a therapist. Relocation depression isn't a scam, and neglected, will get out of hand into something even more serious. You understand yourself better than anyone, and when things aren't quite right, focus on your body and mind. Moving to Houston is considered one of life's most traumatic occurrences, but it does not have to become a source of sadness or depression.


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