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Mental health is important – especially after divorce

by | Jun 8, 2021 | Divorce |

May was Mental Health Awareness Month. In honor of this, it is critical to discuss the importance of taking care once again of one’s mental health during a divorce.

Even if the divorce process is amicable, it is still common for individuals to struggle with their mental health. These effects might be temporary or long-term. Regardless, it is critical for individuals in North Carolina to address these struggles and take care of their overall health during the process of divorce. Needing to seek counseling or other mental health services during this time is common, and individuals should not feel ashamed of needing to ask for help.

Stress and mental health effects are common after divorce

There is no doubt that getting a divorce is stressful. Individuals juggle legal matters and financial issues as well as worries about the future and their family. The stress of this process is no secret. However, the sheer amount of stress combined with the considerable life changes divorce brings can affect individuals’ mental health more than they realize.

For example, many sources report that people who go through a divorce experience the stages of grief. People often correlate these stages with the death of a loved one, but they can be just as serious when suffering the “death” of a relationship. Additionally, many people also experience:

  • Negative self-esteem and self-judgment
  • Symptoms of anxiety
  • Symptoms of depression

These feelings and experiences are often exacerbated by those worrying about their kids or comparing themselves to friends or family members during this stressful time. Not everyone has the same feelings during and after their divorce, but it is common enough to note.

Recognizing struggles is an important step

A recent study conducted in Denmark is just the latest one to illustrate how a divorce can impact one’s mental health. Several studies and professionals indicate these effects, but many individuals still overlook or ignore their own emotions. After all, it is easy to do so when navigating a divorce and growing accustomed to post-divorce life take up one’s time and attention.

However, a critical step in moving forward after a divorce is recognizing these emotions and struggles. Recognizing them and addressing them can help individuals take the steps they need to prioritize self-care and their emotional health. It is also a critical step to seeking help.

Do not disregard counseling

The stigmas that surround both mental illness and divorce are slowly disappearing. Even so, some stigma still exists around therapy and counseling. Many people see counseling as a last resort, but that is not necessarily the case. Therapy can often provide individuals with the skills they need to appropriately handle their emotional stress.

Just like deciding to get a divorce, asking for help is one of the hardest steps to take. But it is an important step so individuals can do what is best for them and their families.