A marital divorce is widely considered to be among one of the most stressful life experiences a person may encounter, regardless of the reasons for the divorce or the circumstances surrounding the event.
During and after a divorce, spouses should pay close attention to their physical and mental health as stress may negatively impact both elements of their well-being.
The direct and indirect impact of stress during a divorce
As explained by MarketWatch, stress may play a role in a person’s health in more than one way. Directly, cortisol levels may rise, blood pressure may increase, immune system activity may grow and more.
Indirectly, a person experiencing serious stress may consciously or unconsciously make lifestyle choices or changes that result in negative health consequences. The decision to drink more or to start smoking, for example, may be at odd with supporting good health during a divorce. Some people binge eat or eat foods that do not support their best selves. Reduced physical activity may also be an outcome of a divorce, further hindering a person’s health.
Stress and divorce for people over 50
Generally speaking, people may be more at risk for health problems as they age regardless of their marital status. When a couple gets divorced in their 50s, 60s or later, the combination of age and divorce may have serious consequences for their health.
U.S. News and World Report indicates that spouses in a gray divorce may have a higher risk of mood changes, memory problems, sleep challenges, cardiac disorders and more. Type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s Disease may also be more prevalent for these people.