People want their children to grow up and lead independent lives. Yet parents often feel lonely, sad, and filled with grief when their children depart.
Grief, depression, a loss of purpose and a sense of sadness may be experienced when children enter their own relationships or when they start their college careers. Women normally suffer more than do men and feelings of sadness may be more pronounced among women were full-time mothers.
Empty nest syndrome is not a clinical disorder or diagnosis. It is a transitional period in life that highlights loneliness and loss. Parents want to encourage their children to grow into independent adults. However, the experience is often bittersweet or emotionally challenging.