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The Physical and Mental Effects of Divorce

There are many studies to suggest that getting a divorce does not just affect your emotional state, but it can also take a toll on your physical health. If you are considering or have already gotten a divorce, make sure to watch out for these symptoms or to try and be proactive to counteract them. Getting a divorce can be one of the hardest things that people got through, but there are ways that you can counteract the negative physical and mental outcomes.

Mental
Just like with any long term stressful situation, it can wreak havoc on your long term health. Anxiety during a divorce is usually sky high, and it can cause you to have a myriad of other health problems. When you are stressed, your body releases adrenaline into your system that causes your “fight or flight” response. Over time, having adrenaline built up in your system manifests itself in many different ways. You can feel moody, irritable and nauseous. You might have trouble sleeping, gain or lose weight, lash out at people, have heart palpitations, weakened immune system, high blood pressure or IBS. There are a lot of symptoms that develop from anxiety and stress, so it is important to acknowledge if you start to notice them so you can stay on top of them right away. We live in a day and age where mental health is acknowledged and encouraged to be taken care of, so there are many healthy ways that you can deal with your anxiety that is proven to work.

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When going through a divorce, it is normal to feel betrayed, sad, insecure and angry. But once those feelings start to disappear and are replaced with a feeling of numbness, that could be a sign of depression. Anxiety and depression can only be treated and diagnosed by a medical professional, but there are some common signs that can indicate that you need to seek professional help. Many symptoms of anxiety and depression overlap, so it can be hard to know which one you have, but if you can’t sleep or experience excessive sleepiness, irritability, hopelessness, thoughts of suicide, lack of concentration, or repetitive thoughts, weight gain or loss, or apathy persistently, then you should see help right away. Therapy is always a good step in the right direction in helping you take steps for recovery.

Physical
In long term study released by the AHA academic journal, they found that women who had been through a divorce were 24% more likely to have a heart attack. Women who experienced multiple divorces were 77% more likely to have a heart attack. People who went through a divorce were also more likely to develop chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes and have mobility issues later in life.

While these are troubling statistics, the reality of the situation is that these are the side effects of long term stress, which can be caused by a number of things. Unfortunately, as humans, we will always be prone to stress and dealing with the aftermath. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to be strong enough to admit when you need help, surround yourself with friends and family, know that you are not alone, and understand that you deserve to be happy.

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