A divorce is one of the most stressful experiences that a person can go through and can result in many life changes. It can also seriously impact on mental health and so in this article, we’re looking at the impact of divorce on mental health.
As adults, we have to deal with a number of stressful experiences but for many people, deciding that they need a solicitor to get divorced can trigger a range of emotions which can lead to long and short term mental health issues.
In this article, we’re looking at the impact of divorce on mental health as well as ways in which you can take care of yourself, physically, mentally and emotionally during this extremely stressful time.
How Does Divorce Impact Mental Health?
Going through a divorce – particularly following a long marriage – can be a life changing experience. For some, this can actually be a positive thing if the marriage was unhappy.
However, for many, it brings uncertainty and stress which can result in some mental health issues. While some people experience mild symptoms such as slight anxiety, for others this can spiral into much more serious conditions.
In this section, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the ways in which this can happen:
A divorce can encompass a number of different factors including the division of assets, finding somewhere new to live and hashing out the details of child custody. In many cases, all of this needs to be carried out while working full time.
On top of all of this, parents will be dealing with the constant worry of how the divorce is going to affect the children involved – often burying their own feelings and needs in the process. Because of this, it’s little wonder that a lot of people suffer from anxiety when going through a divorce.
For many, the prospect of embarking on a new single life can be a catalyst for a descent into depression. Coping with a reduced lifestyle and often finances, can bring about new issues to deal with. In some cases, depression can be debilitating and can impact on every aspect of the person’s life including their work, their children and their relationships with friends and family.
When going through a divorce – and everything that goes with it – it’s common for people to reach for alcohol or even drugs to help them to deal with the stress and strain. While there’s nothing wrong with having a couple of glasses of wine to help you unwind, a significant number of people going through a divorce find that their alcohol consumption becomes a crutch which can, in some cases, spiral into dependency.
How to Manage Your Mental Health During Divorce
Coping with the divorce process as well as the actual separation itself can be daunting and if there are children involved it’s common for people to neglect their own self-care. In this section, we’ll be looking at ways to take care of yourself when going through a divorce:
Lean on friends and family
If a divorce is acrimonious or is dragging on, many people start to avoid talking about it with family and friends for fear of ‘boring’ them with the subject. It’s important to be able to rely on your loved ones during this time – for both moral support and the occasional favour such as helping with children. In doing so, this will help to ease the strain on your mental health.
Taking time out
If you’re working and taking care of children during the divorce process, it’s easy to start running on autopilot, risking physical and mental exhaustion. Be sure to take a little time for yourself each day – even if it’s just half an hour for a relaxing bath or brisk walk while listening to music.
Seek professional help
If you’re struggling to cope with part or all of your divorce, there is nothing wrong with seeking a helping hand from a counsellor or therapist. In many cases, a professional is able to help you to see past your current turmoil in order to plan a healthier and happier future.
Speak with your divorce solicitor about your finances
Often, during and following a divorce, an individual will find that their personal circumstances have been significantly reduced. As well as perhaps having to move to a smaller house or flat, there may be concerns regarding day-to-day expenses.
Speak to your divorce solicitor to make sure that you are claiming everything that you are entitled to from the divorce as well as, where possible, negotiating with your ex-spouse. You may also be able to receive financial assistance from a local organisation specialising in help and advice for divorcees.
Facing the future after divorce…
Sadly, around 42% of marriages in the UK end in divorce and while some divorces are amicable, others are anything but. When going through a divorce, it’s important that you seek – and accept – as much help as possible, both practical and emotional. This is to help you navigate this painful process without putting too much strain on your physical and mental health.
If you don’t have friends or family to lean on during this time, there are lots of social media groups which offer support as well as the opportunity to attend real life meetups with likeminded people.
Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained legal professional. Be sure to consult a lawyer/solicitor if you’re seeking advice on divorce. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.