Divorce is a significant life event that can have far-reaching effects on not just your physical wellbeing but also your mental health. Even when couples make the decision to divorce amicably, the transition can still impact their emotional wellbeing. While it is expected that a divorce can be stressful, many people don’t realize the surprising ways that it can affect their mental health.
Divorce can lead to depression, which is a common emotional response to the end of a marriage. When couples share a life together, they develop a deep emotional connection that defines their lifestyle. Divorce can quickly break this connection, leaving one spouse with a sense of isolation and loneliness. The breakdown of a marriage can also carry an intense sense of conflict that can be difficult to resolve, no matter how rational the decision to divorce may be. This conflict may cause lingering feelings of sadness and low mood that are characteristic of depression.
Divorce is the end of a significant life event, filled with uncertainty and anxiety about the future. Some people may become anxious about the financial implications of a divorce or struggle to adapt to life changes that stem from losing a significant other. The anxiety that comes with divorce can manifest into physical symptoms like panic attacks, sweating, and heart palpitations. This can be particularly hard to manage, especially if it disrupts a person’s daily routines.
Divorce can disrupt established sleep patterns. Insomnia may kick in as a result of stress or worry about the future. Sleep issues can arise due to emotional upheaval and the need to find solutions to the problems at hand. Even after divorce has been finalized, peaceful sleep may elude the individual for an extended period of time. Fatigue due to inadequate sleep increases the risk of ongoing mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
Typically, people out of a relationship tend to question their self-worth. People who divorce may feel that they aren’t worth loving or aren’t desirable partners which could cause them to lose self-esteem. This feeling can affect even confident people and may worsen when going through divorce. The most important part is to maintain a sense of perspective.
The bottom line is that divorce can have far-reaching emotional consequences. While some people find it easy to cope, others experience a significant and lasting impact on their mental health. Family therapy, counseling, meditation and regular exercise are among the examples of coping mechanisms that can help individuals regain their emotional footing in the midst of this life-changing transition. If you’re struggling with a divorce, it is essential to speak with a qualified health professional as early as possible, to help manage and minimize the long-term emotional effects.