Do Not Forsake Your Mental Health After Divorce
Your mental health matters. What you think and how you feel
matter. Even though the divorce
experience may leave you feeling like what you say, what you do, and how you
are dealing with the pain and difficulty of one of the worst experiences you
can ever go through in your life does not matter, it does. You matter, and
taking care of your mental health is an early step in the road to keeping your
focus and recovering
from the end of your marriage.
The first step of taking care of yourself in this situation
is recognizing how close you are to it. This is the end of your marriage, and
you have invested time, emotion, and money into your soon-to-be ex-spouse. You
need someone objective, who can help you stay focused on what is best for your
future, as well as the future of your children, if you have them.
You need to contact a family
law attorney, who is experienced and understands the unique challenges that
fathers and men go through during the divorce experience. They will be able to give
you peace of mind, knowing that they will do everything that they can to best
represent your interests during the legal portions of this experience.
However, the legal aspects are not the only ones that will
be cause for concern. The mental and emotional aspects of ending your marriage
and divorcing your spouse will weigh on you and make you reflect on questions
that surround your marriage.
You may find yourself asking questions like: “Did I really
have it so bad?”, “Will anyone love me again?”, “Am I not worth it?”, or
“What’s next for me?”. The amount of uncertainty in both relationships and in
life that you can feel after a divorce can require professional assistance, in
order to keep you safe, healthy, and on the right track to recover.
There is a stigma
surrounding asking the assistance of an experienced mental
health professional. The discourse of help-seeking is gendered, due to the
masculine ideal that a man intolerant to pain does not seek the health care
that they need, according
to a study published in the Sociology of Health and Illness journal.
Many men also misidentify what they are going through as
stress, especially depression,
according to the same study. If you have gone through a divorce, you are more
likely to seclude yourself, creating
an environment prone to low self-worth and poor mental health.
This can lead to a crippling state of
depression that many who go through a divorce can find themselves suffering
to Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, all 18 mental disorders are positively
associated with divorce, and three of them, major depression, alcohol abuse,
and phobia, are associated with the largest population attributable risk
proportions for both marriage and divorce.
to a study published in the Clinical Psychological Science journal, almost
60 percent of people who divorced during the study and who have previously
experienced depression reported another depressive episode.
The risk of suicide
If left untreated, your battles with depression and anxiety can worsen and spiral into
suicidal tendencies. The
University of California, Riverside conducted a study examining marital
status and suicide and found that divorced men and women are at a higher risk
of suicide than married men and women.
The study also found that divorced and separated persons
were over twice as likely, in comparison to married persons, to be at risk for
suicide. The risk of suicide among divorced men was over twice as likely as
that of married men, whereas in women, there was no statistical difference in
married and divorced women.
Professors at the University of California speculate that the divorced male suicide rate is so high because of the separation between father and child. In cases involving custody disputes, the courts often are ready to grant custody to the mother, due to an assumption that the bond between the mother and child is stronger than that of a father and child. They are not looking at what is in the best interests of the child, so in the minds of those fathers, they have not only lost their marriage, but also their children any assets or property that was divided during the proceedings.
Cordell & Cordell understands the concerns men face during divorce.
Road to recovery
In order to overcome suicidal tendencies and take back your
mental health after a divorce, it is important to take an active role in
your recovery. This not only means seeking a mental health professional to help
guide you through the complicated landscape of your feelings, but also means
being easier on yourself.
You need to learn not to be so hard on yourself. There
is no perfect post-divorce recovery, and there is no
deadline to when you need to “get over” your feelings. You can take your
time and recover at your own pace. You will have bumps in the road and face the
highs and lows of this complex and unique process, but you are not obligated to
acknowledge anyone’s judgment, including
By showing yourself kindness, you may find yourself getting
more comfortable in your post-divorce life. This takes some of the mental
strain off of you and gives yourself a chance to breathe.
These moments are critical to your mental health after a
divorce. You need these moments, in order to foster the healthiest version of
you that you can.
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