Divorce can be hard on everyone involved, from children and spouses to extended family and friends. It doesn’t matter if the divorce is friendly or full of tension, the devastating changes can be the same. What many may not realize is that divorce affects both your physical and mental health, and caring for yourself mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually is vital to getting through the process as unscathed as possible. The following are some effects of divorce that you may not be prepared for.
Anxiety and depression
The end of a marriage is rarely something that makes you feel happy, and you may face anxiety about what the future holds or where you will end up. It’s also difficult to think of facing the world without a companion on your side. The uncertainty, insecurity and changes in lifestyle, job and home can cause significant amounts of anxiety in even the most mild-tempered person.
Changes in weight
When some people are upset, they turn to food to numb the pain. Others may completely stop eating when they are depressed or facing change. Either way, drastic weight changes can be a serious effect of divorce or separation. Whether you eat more or less when you are stressed, changes in weight can increase anxiety and depression.
Studies suggest that both men and women are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease if they have been through a divorce, which is not the case for people of the same age that remain married. Women may have higher levels of inflammation during divorce because of stress, leading to frequent occurrences of heart disease in women. Because women tend to stay single longer and take larger financial hits, they may face more stress during a divorce.
Going through a divorce may affect every area of your life, and your sleep is no exception. Divorcees may experience a significant disruption in their sleep patterns or have nightmares that cause them to frequently wake up. Insomnia is also common for those who deal with depression, which is a serious side effect of divorce.
Alcohol or drug abuse
Divorce can be almost impossible to cope with for some people. Many turn to alcohol, drugs or cigarettes to cope with feelings of anxiousness, depression and loneliness. Men are more likely to develop a substance abuse problem after divorce because they may attempt to ignore or numb the pain that comes from ending a marriage.
While a divorce is a serious process that can cause great changes in your life, there are ways to minimize the negative effects . If you are seeking a divorce, an attorney may be able to answer any questions you have about the process.