Empty Nest Syndrome and Alcohol Abuse

Empty nest syndrome and alcohol abuseWhen the kids pack up and head to college, they are anticipating new experiences and friends, worrying about new classes or new career paths. Moms often worry about the one thing that seems out of their hands: their kids.

Empty Nest Syndrome is the name given to the experience that happens when one or all of a mother’s children grow older and leave home. It may not be a medically recognized condition, but it is one that younger mothers dread and older moms remember wistfully. Even moms who looked forward to the day their children left home experience Empty Nest Syndrome.

On top of that, Empty Nest Syndrome can be worse in the fall season, as young adults leave for college and the days are shorter, creating days with less sunlight.

Is Empty Nest Syndrome Normal?

Yes, empty nest feelings are normal. It is very normal to feel sad and wistful as important family members leave home. It is even normal to feel some grief feelings as big family changes occur.

Some reactions may require a little help:

  • Sadness that does not leave after a month or more
  • Feelings of hopelessness, weepiness, giving up or depression that does not leave
  • Anxiety symptoms such as obsessing over family members, cleanliness or hoarding items
  • Actions taken to feel better that are not healthy such as drinking alcohol or using drugs—even prescription drugs

If you have any of these more severe reactions, it is important to call a counselor who can help you feel better immediately.

Alcohol Abuse and Addiction after the Kids Leave

No one knows where it begins—perhaps with concerns over the kids, or the changes in life. Or perhaps boredom or loneliness sets in, but for some mothers suffering with Empty Nest Syndrome, alcohol becomes a problem that requires a little help to get past.

With other changes happening for many women, such as aging parents, much more or much less time with one’s spouse, hormonal changes like menopause, and embracing transition, women are faced with unique challenges during the empty nest years.

This is definitely not a time to be ashamed of your feelings, and you are not alone. There are treatment options available, groups to reach out to, and therapists that specialize in issues just like these.

When is Alcohol a Problem?

Are you:

  • Having more than one drink of alcohol a day?
  • Spending less time with friends, family or interests?
  • Experiencing family troubles because of drinking?
  • Experiencing health troubles because of alcohol?

If so, these are clear signs that it might be time to talk with a therapist. We offer a free, confidential helpline to aid you in your journey toward wellness. We can help you determine if your situation warrants help, act as a friendly voice to guide you through the wellness process and help you learn more about treatment options.

All of our calls are free and confidential. You owe it to yourself to make the change. Call today.