Divorce and Mental Health
Divorce has been cited as one of the risk factors for mental health disorders and adverse effects on mental wellness. A mentally well person is in control of their thoughts,emotions and behaviors (Rognmo et al 2013). Married people tend to have a positive attitude thus form better home environments compared to divorced partners.
According to studies,drastic changes into the economic status of the family will have a significant adverse impact on the mental status of the affected people. Most average families are likely to experience poverty after divorce. Rognmo et al(2013) showed that 75% of women who apply for welfare benefits tend to come from disrupted marriage or disrupted relationships.
Most studies show that married people are less likely to suffer from mental disorders and tend to have a high level of psychological and emotional well-being compared to those who are single,divorced or cohabiting. Recent survey indicated that up to 80% who attended divorce recovery class also suffered from one or more mental health conditions. (Akter & Begum,2012). The survey also showed that most people who suffered from mental health concerns had additional barriers to attaining intimacy or had trouble to consistently engage in behaviors that supported marriage. In the case of divorce,studies have confirmed a higher rate of mental illnesses. According to a 2011 multinational studies of mental disorders,marriage and divorce a sample of 18 illnesses were found to increase with divorce and others increasing at a rate of even up to 80% (Akter and Begum 2012)
Addictions and depression were the most common mental illnesses which were enhanced by divorce. Married couples are more likely to cease or control the use of alcohol or drugs due to better self control. Studies have shown that married women had fewer alcohol problems.
The last 20years of research have consistently found strong association between divorce and adverse health outcomes among adults.
Generally,divorcees report poorer physical and mental health and more symptoms of stress,anxiety,depression and social isolation than the general population.(Amato 2000,2010;Kessing et al 2003;Hewitt and Turrell 2011;Hewitt et al 2012;Hald et al.,2020b). Furthermore,divorce is associated with more frequent hospitalization(Nielsen et al.,2014),substance abuse(Waite et al.,2009), higher suicide rates (Kposowa,2000), lower levels of psychological well-being (Bracket et al.,2010;Colman et al.,2012) and greater overall mortality risk(Kposowa,2000;Sbarra and Nietert 2009).