Empty Nest Syndrome refers to emotions of depression, sadness, and/or grief felt by parents and caregivers after children come of age and leave their childhood homes.
Empty Nest syndrome usually occurs when children go to college or get married. Women have a higher probability than men to be affected; often, when the nest is emptying, mothers go through other significant life events, such as menopause or caring for elderly parents. Although this doesn't mean that men are completely immune to Empty Nest Syndrome. Men may share similar feelings of loss regarding the departure of their children.
Studies suggest that the closeness of the parent-child relationship can play an important role for both at this time. Parents gain the greatest psychological benefit from the transition to an empty nest when they obtain, develop, and maintain good relations with their children. Severe hostility, conflict, or detachment in parent-child relations can decline intergenerational support when it’s needed by youth during early adulthood and by parents facing the disabilities of old age. When a woman hits this stage in, she may also be going through other changes, such as coping with menopause or increasingly dependent elderly parents.
When a child's exit lets out an overwhelming sadness, treatment is definitely needed. Discuss your feelings with your general practitioner as soon as you feel you may be experiencing this syndrome. You might need antidepressants, and counseling therapies. The time and energy you have directed toward your child can now be spent on different areas of your life. This can be an opportune time to explore, learn or return to hobbies, leisure activities or career pursuits. It’s also suggested to prepare for an empty nest while your children are still living with you. Developing friendships, hobbies, career, and educational opportunities are a great way to keep your mind preoccupied before your children leave, so when the time comes you’re focused on those activities, and less stressed and focused on them starting a new chapter in their life.