How Divorce Affects Mental Health

  • Written by Diana Smith


Divorce is often perceived to be the second most traumatic thing a person can experience, right after losing a loved one. But while after the death of a loved one, we get surrounded by caring people, get leave from work and often chose therapy to deal with the loss, divorce is viewed much differently. Instead of offering support, people take sides, start rumors or give unsolicited advice. The journey of divorce and separation is often very lonely and stressful. How exactly does this traumatic event affect mental health?

Impact on mental health

Divorce is an atom bomb aimed at your emotional health. If you expected to be with your partner forever, you now might be feeling overwhelming sadness, rage, anxiety and hopelessness. Some people even feel ashamed, resentful or unsure of their every step in a relationship. Some freshly divorced people tend to isolate themselves from family and friends, which adds another layer of hopelessness, loneliness and insecurity. If cheating was the reason for separation, worthlessness, anger and confusion might also be involved. All of these feelings are hard to take, but they are normal, even if they last for months or years (and they will without proper emotional support).

Divorce and destructive behavior

Strong emotions during divorce and separation can lead to destructive behaviors like drinking, taking drugs, compulsive spending and engaging in risky sexual relations. These behaviors will not only negatively affect your mental health but also affect your physical health and your financial situation.

Divorce and stress

Stress is greatly present during a divorce, and the worst thing about it is that it leads to chronic anxiety and depression. Depression is often even more obvious in separated men because many of them are not emotionally prepared for such an event. From a young age, many boys are trained to bottle up their emotions, so later in life, they might resort to substance abuse instead of therapy or healthy conversation. Stress that caused depression might also bring up intrusive thoughts and thoughts of suicide. If that happens, make sure not to take it lightly but seek professional help right away.

Impact on children

If you and your ex-spouse have children, your separation will definitely affect them, sometimes causing social discomfort, learning difficulties, disruptive behaviors, risky sexual behavior and depression. When forced to be separated from one parent, kids can experience disaffection with the parent they spend less time with. For some kids, separation of the family is not a problem, but changing neighborhoods, moving schools and living in a new home are their biggest sources of negative feelings. Luckily, if you live in a country with efficient family law like Australia, your divorce can be quick and smooth for both divorcing partners and their children. Finding an experienced family lawyer in Brisbane will ensure you have help navigating through difficult issues of divorce and achieve a fair and practical outcome for you and your family as quickly and smoothly as possible. Drown out and bitter litigations are what hurts kids and parents the most so avoid that at any cost.

How to cope with divorce?

Coping with divorce is difficult but some techniques can help. If you’re struggling with any serious feelings of stress, anxiety and depression, it’s best to seek professional help from therapists trained to help you cope. Additionally, you can work on your physical health through exercise and a good diet to manage negative feelings. Also, ensure you get enough sleep since sleep deprivation causes many physical and mental health issues.

It’s almost certain that your mental health will suffer during a divorce, but you can control whether or not you will bounce back. All people going through this experience with anger, heartache, fear, shame and stress, but most divorcees come through on the other side feeling happy and free, and so will you!

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