Posted on Sep 28, 2013

A new divorce study conducted by Finnish researchers at the University of Helsinki has found that the use of mental health-related prescription medications spikes in the four years before a divorce and then subsides after the divorce process is over. This study sheds lights on how poor marriages affect our mental health and emotional wellbeing—and how divorce could be a healthy choice for some.

The study examined over 300,000 Finns between 1995 and 2004, and between the ages of 25 and 64. During that time period, almost 24,000 people in the study divorced. In the five years before a divorce took place, the reported use of psychotropic medicines, including antidepressants, sleeping pills, anti-anxiety pills, and sedatives, began to rise. The use of these medications peaked just before a divorce and then began to slowly go down.

At the peak of prescription drug use—just before a divorce—a person is twice as likely to be on mood-altering medications than those in a stable marriage. By 18 months following the divorce, study participants were using medications at the same rate as their married peers. The study was corrected for a number of factors, including socio-economic and socio-demographic factors.

What can we learn from this study about the relationship between antidepressants and divorce? Researchers say that the clear relationship between being in an unhappy marriage and being depressed or anxious illustrates the need for counseling not only after a divorce, but also during it.

Are you ready to start the divorce process? Speak to a Bellevue family lawyer today by calling the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny at 425-460-0550.

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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington