People seek divorces for a wide variety of reasons, such as infidelity, conflict, poor communication, financial hardships, or simply growing in different directions. Regardless of the underlying factors, the end of a marriage is a stressful transition, one that can incur a long-lasting toll on your mental health. However, you don’t have to go through a divorce alone. An individual therapy program can help you process the complicated feelings divorce brings and build towards a brighter, happier future.
At Atlanta Center for Mental Health, our compassionate staff will work to guide you through this challenging transition and meet your unique mental health needs. If a divorce negatively impacts your mental health, call 833.625.0458 to find individual therapy for divorce.
Mental Health and Divorce
A divorce is a hugely significant life event, so, unsurprisingly, it can have an equally powerful effect on a person’s mental health, even if you asked for the divorce. Some of the common emotional and psychological effects of divorce may include:
- Social isolation
- Disordered eating
- Self-destructive behavior
- Substance abuse
Everybody is affected differently by divorce, so each person’s experience will differ. Usually, these mental health symptoms fade over time. However, divorce can exacerbate existing mental health issues, and contentious divorces can be a continuous source of conflict and stress. In such cases, the mental health effects of divorce can linger long after the divorce is finalized.
The psychological and emotional effects of divorce can also introduce or worsen other co-occurring disorders. Some of these behavioral changes may not only worsen your mental health but also threaten your physical wellbeing. Some people experiencing the breakdown of a marriage may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope. This problem seems to be especially common for men going through a divorce.
This is known as a co-occurring disorder or a dual diagnosis. In these cases, people who have a history of drug or alcohol abuse may be at an elevated risk of relapse following a divorce. In addition, major life transitions like a divorce can also worsen disordered eating habits, leading to extreme weight gain or loss. Altogether, these issues can not only pose a toll on your mental health but can also wreak havoc on your physical wellbeing.
Ways to Maintain Your Mental Health During a Divorce
If you or a loved one have recently divorced, taking care of your mental health should be a top priority. Support in the earliest stages following divorce helps soften the hard blows and rapid shifts that come with divorce, reducing the toll it takes on your long-term mental health. You can work to maintain your mental health during a divorce by using the following tips:
- Allow yourself to grieve
- Take care of your physical needs
- Explore your interests and identity
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Allow Yourself to Grieve
In the aftermath of a divorce, many people need time to grieve the relationship. Allow yourself to feel the range of emotions, whether you’re sad, angry, frustrated, or even relieved. Grieving the relationship and processing your feelings surrounding it is a normal part of the healing process.
Take Care of Your Physical Needs
It is all too easy to neglect your physical needs during the stress of a divorce. Ensure you eat properly, get enough sleep, maintain personal hygiene, and get regular exercise. These seemingly simple physical elements can considerably affect your mental health and how you cope with stress.
Explore Your Interests and Identity
Many people feel as if they have lost a part of themselves during a divorce. Take time to explore your interests. You may pick up new hobbies, make new friends, or rediscover long-lost passions. Find ways to reinforce your identity apart from your ex-spouse.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Reach out to friends and family, find a divorce support group, or pursue individual therapy for divorce. There is no shame in admitting you need help. Divorce brings up a host of complicated emotions, and you must be able to explore and express those feelings in a safe and supportive environment.
Find Individual Therapy for Divorce With Atlanta Center for Mental Health
Atlanta Center for Mental Health is committed to providing our clients with the support they need to overcome the challenging periods of their lives. Whether you have struggled with your mental health previously or you’re experiencing new levels of mental stress, our staff has the knowledge, experience, and care to help you. Find the support you need at Atlanta Center for Mental Health by calling 833.625.0458 or filling out our online contact form.