Empty-Nest Depression


Since many mothers have just shipped off their offspring for the first time since they brought the babes home, they are experiencing what mental health professionals have termed “empty nest depression.”

I have to be honest, I can’t really relate to that right now from where I’m sitting, at the beginning of flu season trying not to think about what kinds of bugs, viruses, and bacteria are going to come home in those school bags this winter, and the homework assignments are requiring more and more parental involvement. It’s pretty much like going back to school ourselves.

But, yes, there is very definitely an empty-nest depression, as expressed by Yolanda on the message board of my “What Do You Want From Me?” post:

I have lost the comfort of being a mom because my daughter is 17 and no longer needs me. I based my WHOLE entire being on being her mother and giving her all I had. I guess I thought we would be together forever. That is not the case. I have been downsized and laid off from almost every job I have had and now I have been let go of the most important job ever and that hurts the most.

And reader Betty wrote this comment, ironically, on the message board of my post, “Guardian Angel Reunion“:

My daughter is going off to college and my son just turned 13 in May and my daughter 18 also in May. I am now, I guess, getting some of the empty-nest syndrome, but is it really? Some days I get so low and cry until I make myself sick to my stomach.

Would any readers out there who have grown kids like to comment on how they were able to fill the void?

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Therese Borchard
I am a writer and chaplain trying to live a simple life in Annapolis, Maryland.

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