What is Post-performance depression? (+3 coping tips)

This article will center on explaining what Post-performance depression is, and what can cause it. Aside from that, the article will show ways one can cope with Post-performance depression.

What is Post-performance depression?

Post-performance depression is a feeling a person may have once they finish a performance. It can happen to artists, athletes, musicians, and even speakers. It is the sense of sadness and emptiness that can come from ending something you planned and trained for so long.

This is a common feeling, and it can happen to even the most seasoned performer. You spent months of your life working towards this goal, whether it was a play, a concert, or a marathon. You put all your energy into improving and made this your life’s priority. 

So the Post-performance depression can happen because you are now faced with a lot of free time. All that preparation for your performance is over, and now when the applause ends, or the finishing line is crossed, you may feel like you don’t know what to do with yourself anymore.

Aside from that, you can experience Post-performance depression because you feel your main motivation is gone. You were so invested in doing great in that performance, that it became your outlet to deal with a lot in your life. Losing that can be both frustrating and terrifying since you will need to find another way to deal with things.

Finally, you can experience Post-performance depression because this space in which you are preparing, and performing, becomes the center of your social life. You may have made a lot of friends, with whom you spend a lot of time. 

Not being able to be with them as much can be upsetting to you, and having to figure out what your friends will be like from now on can be stressful.

But know that, even though you are sad, Post-performance depression doesn’t go on forever. It is not clinical depression, but more of an adjusting period to your new reality. In some cases, when people are already going through a depressive episode, post-performance depression can become more intense.

And even though to most people it will be a fleeting condition, you should know there are some ways to cope with it. So let’s discuss what are ways to cope with Post-performance depression.

What are ways to cope with Post-performance depression? 

If you have finished a performance, you may have done great in it, but there is a side of you that feels sad. And this is what can lead to Post-performance depression. But here are some ways you can cope with it.

Take some time to rest 

You have put so much of your time and energy into this performance that it is time to take some rest. Focus on sleeping and eating well since those will help you get a better hold of your post-performance depression, and feel more energized. At this moment, meditation can also be a great way to help you relax.

Find other ways to be close 

During your preparation, you may have become so close to the people around you that it can be hard to not see each other every day, and be far away. In time, you all find a way to adjust. 

Try to make plans to meet, and talk to your friends when you miss them. And with time it will be clear how close you guys are, and that even if you don’t see each other so often, the friendship is still there.

Care for other parts of your life 

All of us have multiple roles in our lives. There is our professional role, social role, family role, and so on. As you were training for your performance, you may have left so many of these roles behind. Now would be a great time to focus on them again.

You can use this time to deal with paperwork that was left behind, care for your house better than when you were training, or even meet your family or other friends that you haven’t seen for a while. All of that will allow you to feel more fulfilled, and that your whole identity isn’t defined by this one performance.

Remember what you have learned

Leaving this performance behind can be hard. A good way to do that is by remembering all you have learned with this performance. It may be that, if you are a runner, you made some improvement in your time. 

Or if you are an actor, you learned a new way to express your emotions. Keeping in mind the growth this performance brought to you will allow you to be thankful for what you went through.

Discover a new outlet 

If you are done with that performance, you may want to start, after some rest time, to think about what you want to do next. Is there a new marathon you want to do, or a new play? 

If there is, you may want to start to think about that. Having this new outlet to focus on will allow you to focus on it, and keep you motivated to reach your goals.

There is always a new performance to go to. And even though you may feel sad about the one that ended, know that the next applause or the next finishing line is just a few steps ahead.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): What is post-performance depression? 

What makes it easier to have post-performance depression? 

Having post-performance depression is often easier when people have an attachment style that causes them to have trouble letting go of people and things. People with depressive episodes or other mental illnesses can also develop post-performance depression easier.

This can happen because they may already be vulnerable, and can find it hard to find things that will interest and motivate them. And this performance helps fill them up in some way, when it is over they can feel even more empty than before. 

It can also happen easier to people that feel like the only thing they can connect to is that performance. Once it is done, they may have such a hard time finding a new purpose in their life, that they can develop post-performance depression.

Does post-performance depression have a cure? 

Yes, post-performance depression has a cure. As said, it is not a clinical condition, although it can be more intense in people that are going through depressive episodes or have a mental illness.

But commonly post-performance depression will get better once the person adjusts themselves to the new reality, and directs their energy to other things, even if that is a new performance.

What is important, when dealing with post-performance depression, is to keep in mind that, even though it is fleeting, you should always try to find some balance between your work life and your other roles in life so you can be fulfilled by all of them, and not just the performance.

What are attachment styles? 

Attachment style is the name given to a specific way each person behaves in a relationship. There are four types of attachment styles: secure attachment, anxious attachment, avoidant attachment, and fearful-avoidant attachment, also known as disorganized attachment.

The secure attachment is the one in which a person is capable of forming secure and loving bonds. In this attachment style, people can trust others and be trusted by them. They don’t grow fearful if the other person needs space, because even though they love the other person, they are not dependent on them. 

All the other forms of attachment are insecure forms of attachment, even though each of them acts differently. People with an anxious attachment style are one in which the person is constantly scared that the other will leave them. 

They are extremely insecure about their relationships and can often seem needy. And are always worried their partner doesn’t care enough for them. The avoidant attachment style is one marked by the fear of intimacy. 

When a person has an avoidant attachment style, they might find it hard to get close to people and want to be independent. When people get too close, they can feel suffocated. 

A person with a fearful-avoidant attachment style has a combination of the anxious and avoidant styles. Those people crave closeness, but at the same time want to avoid it at all costs. They can make it extremely hard for them to develop a relationship. This is the rarest form of attachment style.

What are the main symptoms of depression? 

Depression often causes the person to experience intense sadness. Aside from that, it leads the person to lose interest in everything, even the things they used to love. Their energy levels will go down, and they may have trouble focusing.

Depression can make a person feel more irritable, fatigued, hopeless, helpless, and guilty. Their sense of self-worth and self-esteem will go down. And their eating and sleeping patterns will change. Aside from that, a person with depression may start to cry more than before.

Depression can also cause people to feel headaches and pains. It can also lead them to self-harm, and sometimes even thoughts of death or suicidal thoughts.

What are the most common depression treatments?

Depression can be treated in two most common ways, people will go to therapy, and take medication. In the first one, they will have someone to talk to without any judgment. This process will allow them to understand their emotions better, learn how to navigate depression, and even discover the root of their depression. 

The psychiatrist, a doctor that specializes in mental health, will be able to prescribe you medication to help manage your depressive symptoms. But aside from that, there are also some things you can do in your day-to-day life that can help you cope with depression.

The first thing is to try to live a healthy lifestyle. Exercising will help lower your stress levels, and improve your mood. Aside from that, eating healthy, and sleeping well will also help you feel more energized.

Meditation can be a great way to manage your depressive symptoms, and when those negative thoughts rush in, centering on the present, and yourself will surely help.

Being close to the people you love will also offer great relief. You will be able to vent with them, but also focused on something else, so maybe just for a little moment, you will be able to feel better.

The same is said of doing new things. You can take up a new hobby, or start volunteering. That will give you a lot of positive emotions, along with a great sense of accomplishment.


This article explained what Post-performance depression is, and what are the signs of it. Aside from that, the article showed what are ways to cope with Post-performance depression.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.


Post-Performance Depression: the lonely court jester



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