Anyone going through a divorce knows it is an extremely stressful time: emotionally, financially, and legally. Your lawyers will fight to get you the best possible outcome when it comes to asset division and child custody agreements, and will work to ensure that your best interests are represented.
All of this can be stressful, but the legal issues are just one part of your divorce. Dealing with the “other stuff” can be even more difficult, and it can take its toll on your health and wellbeing. According to Self magazine, some of the leading health dangers for anyone going through a divorce are:
Increased anxiety and anger
Divorce is stressful for several reasons. You’re at your most vulnerable when you understand that a relationship with someone you once loved is over. There are worries about how your children are responding to the divorce – are they scared? Do they think they were responsible? What will happen to them? Even when spouses are friendly, there are concerns about what the other spouse will agree to and what they will contest. If litigation is required, spouses naturally worry about what the judge will decide.
Often divorce is accompanied by feelings of anger and even rage. This can be borne of the circumstances of your divorce, or it can be a manifestation of increased anxiety.
The risk of depression increases, too
Divorcing spouses are at risk of depression because the people they used to tell their problems too are now the problems themselves. Sometimes, spouses can manage the divorce negotiations or court cases only to find that once everything is resolved, they now suffer the equivalent of post-traumatic stress disorder. Anyone who is depressed, especially anyone with a history of depression, should consider speaking with a psychologist or getting mental health help to guide them through the divorce and the period immediately after the divorce.
Your physical health can be affected
When people feel anxious, depressed, or angry, they tend to abuse their own bodies: they don’t sleep, they don’t eat (or they eat poorly), they don’t get enough fresh air or exercise, and they may turn to drugs or alcohol (or other risky behaviors) to cope. All of this can put a serious strain on the body, and exacerbate pre-existing medical conditions, like diabetes or addiction.
A 2014 study published in the journal Health Psychology identified a connection between ending a marriage and dangerous increases in blood pressure. According to Self, “The research found that people who had difficulty sleeping for more than 10 weeks following their separation saw negative effects on their resting blood pressure—and the longer people had sleep troubles, the more likely they were to have blood pressure issues.”
In severe cases, a Duke University research study showed, women were found to be at risk of heart disease after a divorce, even if they had just one divorce while mend were at risk after multiple divorces.
Loss of health insurance only makes things worse after a divorce
One of the benefits of marriage is that most private insurance policies cover both spouses, even when only one spouse is working. When the marriage ends, the insurance coverage ends – and for some people, it becomes impossible to find good, affordable coverage on their own. That is why one of the bigger hurdles in a divorce is dealing with health benefits, for the other spouse and for the children.
You can protect your health after a divorce
The good news is that most of time these issues will resolve, so they are not permanent problems. Self magazine also noted a study in the journal Gerontology that found that mental and physical health tended to stabilize two years after the divorce.
However, if you are struggling with the effects of your divorce, you should speak with a counselor or a doctor. We can help you find the right resources; simply ask us the next time you are in the office, or the next time we speak.
At Epperson Law Group, PLLC, our Charlotte divorce attorneys understand the stresses you’re going through. We guide spouses through each stage of the divorce process. We work to resolve your case with the least stress possible. To speak with family lawyers who understand the full range of divorce issues, call us at 704-321-0031 or reach out to us through our contact page. We have offices in Charlotte, Boone, and Weddington.