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Divorce is among the most stressful life events a person might ever endure. Going through a divorce can trigger intense stress and anxiety that can adversely affect every facet of your life. In the event of a very contentious divorce, it can even cause a nervous breakdown. To learn more about the impact of divorce on your mental health, read on.
How Can Divorce Cause a Nervous Breakdown?
Going through a divorce can stoke a visceral level of fear that fuels anxiety. This is due to the often cruel or calculated actions that transpire between the spouses. A divorce means dividing up property, child custody and places a significant burden on each spouse’s finances. There is no easy way to face and then handle these life-changing effects of divorce.
When a spouse begins to feel that the stress from divorce is beyond his or her ability to cope, it may result in a nervous breakdown. This intense state of anxiety makes the person feel that their whole world is imploding. Even worse, they feel they are at a loss to control the process or the outcomes.
Signs of a Nervous Breakdown Due to Divorce
When stress levels overwhelm a person’s ability to manage it, it can result in a nervous breakdown. Warning signs of an impending nervous breakdown include:
- Extreme signs of anxiety or irritability.
- Panic attacks.
- Isolating from family and friends.
- Loss of interest in life.
- Mood swings.
- Loss of motivation.
- Ignores personal hygiene.
- Disorganized thoughts.
- Slowed movements or speech.
- Missing work for days.
- Emotionally drained.
- Physically exhausted for no reason.
- Trouble concentrating.
- Insomnia or hypersomnia.
- Aggressive or violent behaviors.
- Paranoid thoughts.
- Loss of touch with reality.
- Increased substance abuse.
- Thoughts of suicide.
If the signs of a breakdown are present, you will benefit from professional mental health support and stabilization.
Effects of Divorce on Mental Health
Divorce takes a heavy toll on mental health. For months, and sometimes years, the divorce process places extreme demands on your attention and your finances. This affects your health, your children, your career, and your relationships, and may even culminate in a nervous breakdown.
Some of the mental health effects of divorce include:
- Loss of your bearings. Divorce can turn your world completely upside down. In an instant, your dreams are shattered. All your usual routines are disrupted and forced to change. If the wife had been a stay-at-home mom, she is now required to get a job outside the home. This also impacts the children, as they, too, will have to adjust to a new living arrangements.
- Heightened negative emotions. Let’s face, it a divorce brings out the very harshest of emotions. Anger, frustration, fear, and disillusionment, all of these are common in people in the throes of a divorce. Negative emotions like these that persist day in and day out impact both mental and physical health adversely.
- Intense fear of the unknown. Here is where the anxiety comes in. While a divorce may be necessary, it can have serious repercussions in so many ways. The fear of these unknown effects, such as how it impacts the children and finances, can send anxiety soaring.
- Division along lines of loyalty. Suddenly, the treasured relationships you have always enjoyed with your in-laws and joint friends become strained. Some of these loved ones may abandon you or side with the other spouse, leading to feelings of loss and rejection.
- Feelings of grief. A divorce is very much like a death, in that you are grieving the loss of a life that you will not have anymore. You may have to lose your home in the process, leave your town, change jobs, and even lose friends. And if you are the spouse who was left, you will mourn the loss of that partner in your life. All of these losses add up and result in an intense grieving process.
5 Tips for Managing Anxiety During and After Divorce
If your divorce has you on the brink of a nervous breakdown, it is helpful to add some coping tools to help manage the stress. Consider these five ways to reduce anxiety:
- Mindfulness training. The practice of mindfulness involves re-directing wandering thoughts toward the present moment. When stress around the divorce steals your peace, use mindfulness to switch away from distressing thoughts. By training the mind to focus on the present sensory experience you will naturally become more relaxed.
- Take daily walks. Something as simple as a brisk 20-minute daily walk can have a profound impact on stress levels. Exercise helps to increase your dopamine and serotonin levels, which reduce stress. Regular exercise also improves sleep quality, helping you feel more rested and calm as you manage the divorce process.
- Yoga classes. There are various forms of yoga, so find one that fits your abilities. Yoga involves a series of movements, postures, and focused breathing that leads to a peaceful state of mind. Yoga is a strenuous workout that can aid flexibility, agility, and strength, while also reducing stress.
- Get a massage. A Swedish massage is just the ticket when your muscles are tensed up due to stress. During this stressful time, treat yourself to a monthly massage. Not only is this good self-care, but it also helps release tension and toxins from the muscles. Add lavender aromatherapy for added stress relief.
- Deep-breathing exercise. Deep-breathing techniques can be done anywhere at any time you feel stress levels climb. There are different types of deep breathing exercises. Slowly inhale, hold the breath to the count of five, and release the breath to the count of seven. Repeat about five times to enjoy the calming effect.
Residential Mental Health Treatment Post-Divorce
Your anxiety level may be so high you feel like you are on the verge of a nervous breakdown. If so, you may benefit from a residential mental health program that specializes in treating anxiety.
These programs are located in private luxury estates where you can enjoy being pampered as you heal. Take some time for yourself during this difficult chapter. You will learn new coping skills and new thought/behavior patterns that will allow you to better manage the divorce.
LifeSync Malibu Provides Residential Mental Health Treatment
LifeSync Malibu is a luxury rehab providing treatment for primary mental health and dual diagnosis disorders. If your divorce has you on the brink of a nervous breakdown, we are here to help. Please reach out today at (866) 491-4426.