Posted on Oct 28, 2013

Yet another study has been published that has found that divorce affects men’s health. This most recent research, entitled, “The Influence of Divorce on Men's Health,” and published in the Journal of Men’s Health, was conducted at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. The study looks at a large collection of research on the subject and draws conclusions regarding why, exactly, the health of males suffers after the end of a relationship.

Just how badly is men’s health harmed by divorce? Divorced men have mortality rates 250 times higher than married men and researchers believe that it is because many aspects of a man’s life are affected: their biological health, psychological health, and spiritual health. Their blood pressure goes up, they report more sleep disturbances, and they suffer from more anxiety and depression. They do not see doctors as often, they abuse substances more, and they do not eat or exercise as well. The result is that they report more sicknesses at higher rates, spanning from the common cold and mobility issues to cancer and heart disease.

This study does not mean, of course, that men should never get divorced. Researchers say that the information uncovered in this study can help men be more aware of their health during and after a divorce. Getting ongoing medical care, taking care of your body, and simple awareness can help offset and eliminate some of the factors that lead to illness after divorce.

Divorce Increases Depression Only for Some 

It’s a fact that divorce and depression often go hand-in-hand—even if you know you are making the right decision for you and your family, you are closing a chapter in your life, disrupting the lives of your children, and saying goodbye to what you thought your future would be like. However, a new study has found that divorce doesn’t necessarily result in depression. In fact, only those with a history of depression may be at greater risk for experiencing a depressive episode after a split.

The study, which was conducted at the University of Arizona and published in the latest issue of the journal Clinical Psychological Science, examined data from the Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS) study. Specifically, researchers looked at four groups of subjects: those who had divorced and had a history of clinical depression, those who had divorced and did not have a history of depression, those who were married and had a history of clinical depression, and those who were married and did not have a history of depression.

The results were significant: both those who were married and those who were divorced had a 60 percent chance of a future episode of depression if they experienced depressive mental health issues in the past. On the other hand, both those who were married and those who were divorced had only a ten percent chance of a depressive episode if they had no depression in the past.

What do these results suggest? While divorce increases depression, it mostly does so only for those who are susceptible to depression to begin with. These people, with clinical depression in their history, may have more trouble coping with divorce and its difficulties. Researchers hope that this study will help these people understand that they need to treat depression during and after their divorce.

Do you need the assistance of a Seattle divorce attorney? Call the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny today to learn more about our legal services at 425-460-0550.

Want more tips on preparing for your divorce? Read through our free e-book, The Thinking Man's Guide to Divorce in Washington, to learn how to avoid common mistakes.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington