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Effects of Divorce on Mental Health

Nancy MacGregor MA, ATR-BC, LPC, ACS, Clinical Director

Divorce. Something we try to avoid, but is becoming more common each year. Getting a divorce can take a severe toll on your mental health – regardless of circumstances. Whether you were blindsided by the idea, could feel it coming for years, or you know that it is the healthiest and best option for you, it can still be extremely difficult. In the United States, the most common reasons of divorce are infidelity, frequent arguing, abuse, and a lack of commitment.

No matter the reason for divorce, it is nothing to be ashamed of. It is rather common, so more people may know what you’re going through than you think – to an extent, at least. The United States has the sixth-highest divorce rate in the world, with about 50% of marriages ending in divorce. And the average length of a first marriage that ends in divorce is eight years. While the number eight might seem like a low number, that is still eight years of your life that can be changed in a matter of moments. So, it’s understandable that with such a big change comes uncertainty and anxiety.

The effects of divorce can be emotional, mental, and physical. For example, you may have feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and anger. You may begin to notice changes in your routines, sleeping habits, appetite, and hygiene. Everyday tasks might become more difficult and you may lose focus at work, school, or in things that typically interest you. According to the National Library of Medicine, divorce and separation are often associated with increased anxiety and depression, and an increased risk of alcohol abuse.

There is no clear way to deal with a divorce, especially because different approaches work for different people. Something that can help everyone when it comes to dealing with divorce trauma is therapy.

How divorce therapy can help

Therapy is a great resource and tool because it can help you identify and work through problems that you’ve been struggling with. It can also be a great “reset button” to help you get out of your head and more in tune with the world around you. There are some different options depending on what you are looking to achieve.

  • Individual divorce therapy: one-on-one sessions with a licensed therapist can help you work through any trauma stemming from your divorce in a safe environment. After identifying the root of your trauma, you will learn tools to help you cope with difficult situations.
  • Group divorce therapy: in a group setting, a licensed therapist will lead group discussions in an effort to bring together people that are going through similar experiences. You will learn positive coping mechanisms and tools that can be put into practice in real-time.

You can choose from individual therapy, group therapy, or a combination of both. Again, every person is different, so it’s best to explore your options and decide what is going to be the best fit for you.

Overcoming divorce trauma with Harmony Bay Wellness

Divorce, for better or worse, can change your life. At Harmony Bay Wellness, we help you navigate through one of life’s big changes and help you make it a positive change to your life. Through a diverse set of mental health treatments, including clinical mental health therapies, psychiatric treatment evaluations, intensive outpatient programs, telehealth treatment services, and integrative wellness services, it’s our goal to help you get back to the person you want to be in the world.

If you or a loved one are struggling with the effects of divorce, contact us today at 855.857.6050 to discover the treatment options that are available to you.

Treatment with Harmony Bay

Harmony Bay is an outpatient behavioral health service that offers primary mental health treatment for a variety of mental health disorders. Our mission is to make mental health care convenient and affordable while providing an unmatched experience to our clients. contact us today by calling 855.765.6399.