Health and Heart Concerns Become A Worry For Those Divorcing

An article recently discussed by the Science World Report reports a unique relationship between stress and divorce. The research gathered reveals specific ailments linked to divorce. Among these illnesses is heart disease.  

Connecting Emotions To Physical Symptoms

Emotional symptoms like insomnia and depression are often associated with couples going through divorce. A family therapist from the UK claims physical reactions to stress — such as eczema, migraines, and back trouble — are more likely to manifest in those same couples.

An expert in the field, Dr. James Lynch, says that physical symptoms are caused by the hormone cortisol. This hormone is known as the chemical that causes the “fight-or-flight” response in animals. It is released during stressful situations and weakens the body’s immune system.

Leaving The Heart Susceptible

In recent years, high-conflict divorces have been found to potentially cause PTSD in couples. With large amounts of stress involved in each divorce, heart issues are a concern.  Lynch says, “Psychological stress increases the damage caused by free radicals … which attack healthy cells and are believed to play a part in heart disease.” Heart disease becomes of particular concern as we age.

Different Reactions

Divorce-related stress from legal proceedings affects men and women differently. The same article from Science World Report says that symptoms in women are more serious but do not last as long as they do in men. On the other hand, men may experience the same symptoms for longer.

Couples in Grand Rapids and across the state should be aware that the stress of divorce could affect their former spouse differently than it affects them.  Such awareness may aid in understanding and communication when a former spouse reacts in an unexpected manner.

Finding Solutions

While much of this stress is caused by conflict, couples may turn to divorce attorneys and family therapists for council.

As discussed in a previous article, people can have very different reactions toward illness during a divorce. If negotiations and court proceedings have become too much, sympathy from one’s former spouse may relieve stress before it causes permanent damage. No matter what one does, avoiding or minimizing stress is crucial. Just because a marriage is ending does not mean health has to suffer.

Johnson, D. (2016, Sept. 28). Marital Break-Up, Divorce May Cause Eczema And Muscle Pains. Science World Report. Retrieved on Sept. 28, 2016, from