Living through a troubled marriage and subsequently experiencing a divorce understandably presents a person with a significant level of stress. Managing that stress may be difficult for some people and may even lead to a level of stress that contributes to health problems.
U.S. News and World Report indicates that the health problems associated with a divorce may even grow as a person ages, noting that people who experience a gray divorce should be aware of the potential pitfalls and risks to their health.
Mental and emotional health during and after a divorce
As explained by Prevention magazine, a separated or divorced person may have an increased risk of experiencing serious anxiety or depression. One reason may well be due to the fact that they no longer have a partner with whom to navigate the complex situations life may present. A feeling of being alone may then contribute to the development of depression or anxiety.
For people over 50, cognitive or memory problems may surface during and after a divorce.
Physical health issues during and after a divorce
Research findings published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior noted that divorced spouses may experience a 20% greater likelihood of developing conditions like cancer, heart disease or Type 2 diabetes than their married counterparts.
Other physical problems to watch for include a reduction in mobility and notable increases or decreases in weight. Sleep disturbances, including insomnia, may also appear during or after a divorce.
Alcohol and tobacco use
A reliance on drinking or smoking to manage or reduce stress when divorcing may also contribute to more health problems.