Physical And Mental Health Issues Often Follow Divorce
Every two weeks we get a new study concerning the emotional, psychiatric, physical, or other ill tidings that post-date divorce. These studies tend to produce results that say something like: “As a consequence of divorce, you are 85% more likely to suffer symptoms of depression, anxiety, or entertain thoughts of suicide.” That’s not what the following study says, we’re paraphrasing the sorts of studies you see being produced by social scientists. Before we delve into this study, we should point out that divorce often presents a solution to the psychiatric, emotional, and even physical distress that someone is exposed to within a marriage. The study cannot indicate that staying in a bad marriage will produce fewer mental health problems than pursuing a divorce. The experience will be stressful regardless of the decision an individual makes. That should be the point that these studies are making.
What Does the Study Say?
A Danish study recently published says that the physical and mental health consequences of divorce often worsen post-divorce. There is one key difference between this study and other studies of the same kind, according to those who conducted the study. This study began measuring the emotional and physical health consequences of divorce during the period of separation that often predates divorce. In other words, studies that measure divorce after the divorce has been granted by the court are allowing some of the initial pain to dissipate prior to measurement. In other words, this study sought to measure the effects of separation.
The researchers surveyed 1.856 men and women who had been legally divorced for no more than five days. The majority of these individuals did not have a separation period prior to the study. The respondents were then asked to fill out a Short Form 36 Health Assessment. The assessment includes bodily pain, social functioning, physical functioning, and more. These responses were compared to a random sampling of the population. As expected, recent divorcees fared poorly on these assessments when compared to a random sampling.
The study was successful at exposing risk factors for very bad post-divorce stress. Factors that reduced the risk of more severe health problems included:
- Financial stability post-divorce
- Low-conflict divorces
- Fewer previous divorces
- (for women only) Having a new partner
In other words, the study uncovered nothing you couldn’t have guessed for yourself using basic common sense. You don’t need science to tell you that having less conflict in your divorce will result in less stress post-divorce, or that being in a stable financial position will reduce your stress.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Divorce Attorney Today
Generally, when the stress of marriage becomes greater than the stress of moving on, divorce is on the horizon regardless of what any study says. Our West Palm Beach divorce attorneys help those going through divorce to alleviate many of the risk factors for a bad divorce by ensuring that their finances are stable and that conflict is reduced when appropriate. Call Bruce S. Rosenwater & Associates today to learn more about how we can help.