Divorce can disrupt families, cause financial difficulties, and more. But did you know divorce affects health? Learn five ways it does today.
The divorce rate in the U.S. has been in decline since the 1980s, but that doesn’t make it any less devastating if you go through a divorce yourself.
No one enters into a marriage thinking they’ll get divorced one day.
Of course, people get divorced for a variety of reasons, and often people experience a sense of relief and a new lease on life after leaving a relationship that wasn’t working out.
That being said, there are potentially negative health effects that can follow the end of a marriage. Let’s take a look at five ways divorce affects health.
1. Higher Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease
One study found that middle-aged men and women were at a higher risk of developing heart disease after a divorce than their married peers.
This appears to be particularly true for middle-aged women who have gone through a divorce.
It isn’t clear why this is the case, though there is a link between stress and cardiovascular disease. After divorce, it’s common for people to feel both emotional and financial stress, so this could be a potential reason for the association.
2. Higher Anxiety Levels
There are a lot of things that could cause anxiety after a divorce. While the effects of divorce on adults vary widely depending on people’s personal situations, it isn’t unusual to experience some amount of anxiety during or after a divorce.
The uncertainty caused by a divorce can lead to insecurity. Major aspects of your life might be up in the air or going through huge changes. Maybe you have to move to a new house, get a different job, or change the school your kids attend.
3. Significant Weight Change
Another way divorce is affecting health for many is experiencing a drastic weight change.
While some people might turn to comfort food to deal with the split from their spouse, others might lose their appetite all together from the stress.
4. Substance Abuse
Some people use alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes to cope with the dissolution of their marriage. It’s important for the sake of your health after divorce that you make sure you avoid using substances to mask your feelings of anxiety, depression, or loneliness.
Substance abuse is more common in divorced men than married men. Divorced men also have higher rates of depression, mortality, and lack of social support than there married counterparts.
When you get a divorce, your life is in flux. The future you had pictured for yourself no longer exists.
It’s therefore not uncommon for people in the midst of a divorce or afterward to struggle with insomnia. Everything you had the good sense not to panic about during the day all comes rushing in at three a.m.
Know How Divorce Affects Health So You Can Take Care of Yourself
While there is a correlation between divorce and health issues, that doesn’t mean you’re doomed. It just means that you should be mindful of your health after divorce and take care of yourself to avoid the ways divorce affects health negatively.
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