Depressed after moving? (5 helpful tips )

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In this article, we will look at what does it mean to be depressed after moving. In addition, the blog will also explain a few causes of depression after moving, and how to deal with depression after moving. 

What is depression after moving? 

Have you ever moved from one city to another, or from one place to another and felt depressed? Well, this quite a normal phenomenon. Feeling depressed after moving may not be a clinically recognized disorder, but it certainly a real phenomenon. 

Does being depressed after moving to have a term? Yes, it does. It is called relocation depression. As the term suggests, relocation depression can be defined as the flow of depression faced by a person after moving. 

Those who have moved know how difficult it is to move, both physically and mentally. Not only does it drain out your physical energy with all the cleaning and tidying up, but also takes a toll on your emotions. Leaving a place in which you lived for years, and mase numerous memories both happy and sad can certainly be heartbreaking. 

Henceforth, it is no doubt that one may face a blow of depression after they have moved. For some, it may evident enough to hinder their daily activities, while for others, it may be hidden below their excitement and happiness. According to a study in 2016 by the Social Indicators Research journal, established that moving creates a perfect storm of unhappiness. 

Transfer trauma or relocation stress syndrome is generally associated with the depression caused after moving. A few symptoms of transitional trauma include 

  • Hopelessness
  • Isolation
  • Fearfulness
  • Forgetfulness
  • Agitation
  • Aggression
  • Lack of interest in pleasurable activities
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Finding it difficult to concentrate

What are the causes of depression after moving? 

It might so happen that you are moving from a greater cause that may bring great happiness and success when looked at from the bigger picture. However, irrespective of this fact, you may still feel depressed after moving. You may certainly feel that this is the most absurd thing that can happen to you. Instead of staying happy and embracing the new way of life, you are still wallowing about the old lifestyle. 

Well, you should certainly not worry. This a very normal and common occurrence in the lives of those who have just decided to move. Here are a few reasons that may cause this depression after moving. 

Fear of the Unknown

Having moved to a completely new place comes with its own uncertainties. The idea that everything is going to be new and unknown will definitely scare a person. Imagine moving to a completely unknown place, with no friends or family whatsoever, not knowing how life will treat you, can develop a sense if fear in the strongest person as well. Having to face this is not easy, and the anxiety can sometimes lead you to depression. You have to start everything from the scratch. Not knowing how life is going to turn out in this new place- will it better than before, is it worth moving to a completely new place will take a toll on your mental health now or later. 

Change is hard. 

Human beings look for comfort. Anytime we have to do something that asks us to step out of the comfort zone is considered difficult. What better comfort than that of the place you live in. when we are asked to undergo a change, we do not like it. A change that is forced upon us will certainly take a toll on mental health. I remember this when I was forced to move from one city to the other, as my parents decided to do so. You have to leave everything you loved and everything that gave you comfort behind. How do you say goodbye to such wholesome yet shattered feelings? It pricks your heart. Change is not liked by everyone. Hence for those who hate changes, making a dramatic change like moving can be hard and cause relocation depression. 

New social network 

The city you were born and brought up in is like your family. You have your own set of friends, families, colleagues, and acquaintances that you can rely on. However, when you move to a new city, you have to start making friends from the scratch. There will be no one to look after you, no one you can call at the night to come over if you have nightmares, nor anyone who you can go out for dinner. Things get worse when you have to leave the love of your life back in your hometown. 

Can’t let go of your old life

One of the main reasons that people get depressed after moving is because they cannot get over their old lifestyle. Once you move to a new place, you build yourself from square one and happen to be a completely new person, in accordance with the new place. A city changes people, and it is true. You cannot be what you are in Los Angles in New York. The two great cities have their own way of living. When people move, sometimes, they cannot let go of their old ways of life. This can act as a magnet that pulls them back to what they were and also be repulsed by it. Such a confusion of identity can certainly cause depression. 

Moving manifests disability 

Having a settled life, living in one place can show that you are stable in your life. However, when you keep moving from one place to another, you may start to feel that your life is not settled, but rather a mess. You may feel like you are not able to take the right decision and therefore have to move again and again. This thought directly reduces a sense of purpose in your life. 

How to deal with depression after moving? 

 Now that you know what causes relocation depression, here are a few things you can do to avoid depression after moving. 

Keep things organized

It is very important that you reduce stress by keeping things organized before and after relocating. The more chaotic and messed up the process is, the more you will be stressed and anxious which may lead to a great deal of depression. You may start to wonder if it worth all the pain at all. 

Recreate a space from your old place 

People usually believe that a new place means, having everything new. However, in order to avoid depression, you can have a small section of the new place made exactly like your old place. Maybe the room can be the same, or you can redo your bar exactly the same as your last house. This will help you with the feeling of uncertainty. There will be something familiar in the sea of unfamiliarity. 

Get out of the house 

Do not confine yourself to the four walls of your new house. Remember you are in a new city. A city that you may have never visited before. A city that has a lot to offer to you than you can imagine. Therefore, sitting all by yourself in the house will only make things worse. It is time for you to get out of the house, and explore the heart of the city. Go do all the touristy things. Give yourself a chance to fall in love with the city. Maybe, this will help you fight depression. 

Ask for help 

In any case, if you feel that you cannot deal with these feelings all by yourself, it is time that you look for someone who can help you. You may confide in someone who you know and can trust, or search for a professional who can help you both with the difficulty in moving to a new place and also the depression caused by moving.

Build a new network

I understand that it is difficult to leave your well established social network back in the city you lived in, but this does not mean that you do not develop a network in the new city. Go to your place of work or educational institute, meet new people, and hang out with them, various studies in psychology have emphasized the importance of social support. With the help of trustworthy social support, it can become easier for you to deal with depression

Stay healthy 

In case you feel that you are feeling depressed after moving, have yourself follow healthy practices. Avoid consumption of alcohol and other drugs. These may only stimulate your feelings of depression. Go out for a walk every day in the sun, this might give you a good start to the day. 

Try new things 

A new city will give you a chance to open your boundaries and expand your horizons. Look at the activities that catch your interest. Enroll in a new class, or go to charity events whatever that may please you. You won’t have the time to think about the relocation blues when you’re having fun. And all the great memories you make will forever connect you to your new home.


In this article, we have looked at is what does it mean to be depressed after moving. In addition, the blog has also explained a few causes of depression after moving, and how to deal with depression after moving.

FAQs: Depressed after moving

How long does it take to adjust after moving?

Research has shown that you take a minimum of eighteen months to adjust to anything new, be it a positive or a negative change. If you move to a new city, it likely that you may take around 18 months to get familiar with the new city in every aspect, from your home to the roads of the city. 

Is it normal to regret moving?

Research again has shown that half of the people who decide to move from one place to the other regret their decision. It is normal to make a decision like this and regret later because it is not possible for you to undo the decision. Once you have decided to move and actually move, moving back will not make sense to you, even if you regret your decision. 

What should I unpack first in a new house?

Once you have gotten all your things in the new house, make sure you unpack the large furniture like bed and sofas, then install off the appliances like refrigerator and TV. finally, open the essential boxes, make your bed, and order take out. Keep the kitchen for the last day. 

Is unpacking easier than packing?

Yes, the process of unpacking is comparatively easier than the process of packing. Packing requires a lot of time and strength because you need to figure out what is needed and what is to be given away. However, unpacking only requires you to put the stuff in the place assigned for it.  


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