Relocation Depression: Can Relocating Affect Your Mental Health?

Last Update on September 28, 2023 : Published on September 28, 2023
Relocation Depression

Moving on to a new place can be full of mixed emotions. One day, you might feel excited about new experiences and one day you might feel stressed! Well, if you have relocated, you might understand the feeling when you are open to new experiences but you don’t want to leave your comfort place.

Leaving your space and relocating to a different city, state, or country can be stressful because it takes a lot of time to find comfort in the new place and adjust to a new city with new workplace, college, friends, neighbors, and more! Some people get through this transition phase easily but in some, it can trigger constant feelings of sadness or depression.

This type of specific depression is referred to as relocation depression. In this blog, we will be taking a deep look at what is relocation depression and how to deal with it. So, let’s get started!

What is Relocation Depression?

What is Relocation Depression

Relocation depression is an informal term and can also be referred to as adjustment disorder. relocation depression is caused by moving to a different city. As of now, it’s not part of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder 5th Edition Text Revision (DSM-5-TR). Generally, relocation depression usually resolves on its own, research shows that the timeline for adjustment disorder must be within 6 months, if the symptoms continue, it falls in the category of clinical depression.

The anxiety associated with moving on or transitioning can trigger emotional symptoms but they can be temporary once you start adjusting to the new place. Research shows that older adults and children are more prone to relocation depression. Generally, feelings of sadness or emptiness are not counted under the diagnosis of clinical depression. In order to be diagnosed with relocation depression, symptoms must be interrupting the overall quality of life.

Is It Clinical Depression or Situational Depression?

Many of you might’ve questioned, how relocation depression is different from clinical depression or situational depression? In order to understand this, let me first clarify some basics. It’s quite a normal feeling to feel sadness or emptiness while shifting to a new location, if you’re feeling sad during the transition phase, please note that it necessarily does not mean that you have a depressive disorder or relocation disorder.

However, if the symptoms are persistent and they are interrupting the overall quality of your life for more than 6 months, you might consider getting a diagnosis for depression. In order to differentiate between sadness and depression, it’s important to know that the symptoms of depression are persistent and they should be negatively impacting your multiple aspects of life or regular functioning.

If you’re struggling with full-blown relocation depression or transition blues, you can still speak to a mental health professional to get a proper diagnosis and learn healthy coping techniques.

To connect with a mental health professional through online platforms, refer to:


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Many of you asked, how to identify situational, clinical, and relocation depression, you can use the below check-list to differentiate:

  • Symptoms of relocation depression generally resolve within 6 months after relocation or transition phase.
  • Relocation depression is triggered by moving on or transitioning to a new place
  • If the relocation depression persists for more than 6 months, the affected individual must connect with a mental health professional for the right diagnosis and treatment.
  • Situational depression is caused by specific stressors, meanwhile, relocation depression is caused by moving in, and clinical depression does not reveal any exact cause.

Who’s at the Risk of Developing Relocation Depression?

Generally, children and adults are at higher risk of developing relocation depression. Research shows that anyone can develop clinical depression due to possible reasons:

  • Genetics: If you have a family history of mental health issues or depression, you might be prone to developing clinical depression.
  • Identity: If you belong to the LGBTQIA+ community, you might be at a higher risk of developing depression.
  • Physical illness: If you are struggling with chronic physical illness such as cancer or heart disease, you might be at a higher risk of developing depression.
  • Substance misuse: If you’re into substance abuse or addictions, you’re likely to have depression.

Risk factors for depressive disorders include:

  • Young age
  • Being single
  • Students
  • Lower education
  • Coming from an urban area

What are the Symptoms of Relocation Depression?

The symptoms of relocation depression are similar to common symptoms of depression. Below listed are some of the common symptoms of depression:

  • Extreme anger or irritability
  • Extreme changes in the appetite
  • Extreme changes in sleeping pattern
  • Feelings of numbness, hopelessness, or sadness
  • Lack of concentration
  • Loss of interest
  • Physical pain
  • Reduced social interactions
  • Suicidal ideation or self-harm

What are the Causes of Relocation Depression?

Generally, relocation depression can be caused by several reasons, such as:

  • Disruption of routine
  • Feeling empty or far away from friends, family members, or loved ones
  • Feeling exhausted
  • Feeling uncertain
  • Increased financial burden
  • Loss of social connections
  • Underlying mental health condition

Treating Relocation Depression

If you think you or your loved one might be struggling with relocation depression or other depressive disorders, it’s important to connect with a mental health professional to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.

In order to be diagnosed with depression, you must have the following:

  • Symptoms associated with depression for more than 6 months
  • Symptoms must be interrupting your overall quality of life
  • Symptoms must not only be limited to feelings of sadness or emptiness

Below are some of the effective treatment options for relocation depression


There are various medications used to treat different types of depression. Generally, antidepressants are prescribed to treat medications by a professional.


Psychotherapy or talk therapy is an effective treatment option for overcoming depression. Usually, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic therapy are prescribed for treating depression as they help in discussing problematic thoughts, experiences, and emotions. Additionally, it teaches healthy coping skills.

To learn more, refer to:

Quick Takeaway: Self-Help Strategies to Overcome Relocation Depression

Overcome Relocation Depression

Below listed are some quick and effective self-help strategies to overcome relocation depression:

  • Focus on getting quality sleep each night
  • Try to have more nutritious and balanced meals for proper functioning
  • Keep yourself activated throughout the day
  • Practice mindfulness-based meditation techniques to boost your mood
  • Write down your thoughts in a journal
  • Engage yourself in activities that interest you
  • Avoid alcohol and substance use
  • Stay connected with your loved one
  • Try to create new and positive connections
  • Create a routine to gain stability again
  • Make your new place a comfortable place to be
  • Unlearn to suppress your emotions and openly talk about your feelings with your friends, relatives, or loved ones
  • Try deep breathing exercises
  • Practice affirmations for overcoming depression

I hope this blog helps you understand relocation depression and how to deal with it. For more such content, connect with us through all social media platforms.

Thanks for reading!

About The Author

Aayushi Kapoor
Aayushi Kapoor

Aayushi is a Content Creator at Calm Sage. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Food Technology and a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. Her constant interest in the improvement of mental health, nutrition, and overall wellness embarked upon her career as a “full-time educational writer.” She likes to make an asynchronous connection with her readers. Her mantra for living life is "What you seek is seeking you".

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