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What Are the Health Effects of Divorce?

Divorce has profound financial and legal implications. It also can cause a great deal of stress. But what about the impact it has on a person’s mental and physical health? Can these be measured as well?

While every divorce is different, there is no question that it is a life-changing event that can dramatically impact everyone involved. This blog will shed light on the potential health consequences of divorce and what you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones during this time of change.

Anxiety, Depression & Other Psychological Effects of Divorce

Divorce has been linked to increased stress, anxiety, and depression. The American Institute of Stress ranks divorce as the second-highest stressor in a person’s life, after the death of a spouse.

All of the following can influence the psychological impact of divorce:

  • Having to move out of the family home
  • Selling your home or other property
  • Moving suddenly
  • If you were a stay-at-home spouse, having to find a job
  • Spending less time with children
  • Losing a spouse’s emotional support

Uncertainty is one of the biggest stressors associated with divorce. The fear of the unknown is powerful, and some of the unknowns a person will face during a divorce involve their finances, where they’ll live, their children, and their property. Reaching workable custody, property division, and alimony arrangements can alleviate this burden and bring more certainty, reducing stress.

Is Physical Illness Linked to Divorce?

The mental toll of a divorce can have health impacts as well. Some people have trouble sleeping or eating. Others may turn to comfort foods and could experience some weight gain as a result. Divorce can also leave one with less time to exercise or take part in other physical activities that improve cardiovascular health.

Through the years, several studies have linked divorce to physical ailments:

  • A study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine found an increased risk for poor health in people who were separated or divorced, leading to a 23% higher mortality rate. While most people coped well with divorce, an estimated 10-15% struggled significantly.
  • A study titled “Marital Biography and Health at Mid-Life” found that people who were widowed or divorced were 27% more likely to have mobility issues and 22% more likely to have chronic medical problems than those who were married.
  • Another study, “Gender, the Marital Life Course, and Cardiovascular Disease in Late Midlife,” considered the impact of divorce on heart disease, found that divorced women were more likely to experience cardiovascular problems than married women.

Even with studies like these, it is important to remember that every divorce is different. Every person will deal with it in their own way, and some will not only go through the process with minimal stress or physical ailments but will face brighter futures.

Our Massachusetts Divorce Attorneys Are Here to Help

Divorce doesn’t have to be messy. It doesn’t have to ruin your life. It can signify new beginnings and a bright future, and that starts with identifying your post-divorce goals. At Miller Law Group, P.C., we have seen the power that a well-managed divorce can have to positively impact a client’s life. Our attorneys realize that everything is on the line, and that is why we work closely with our clients to help them navigate the divorce process with the least amount of stress possible. What’s important to you is important to us, and we will be prepared to take whatever approach is necessary to help you reach an ideal outcome: in or out of the courtroom.

Call (508) 502-7002 today to speak with a lawyer about your options.

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