Can an Ugly Divorce Cause PTSD?

Can an Ugly Divorce Cause PTSD?

1 min 15 sec read
You don't have to go through war to end up with the terrifying and extraordinarily discerning symptoms of PTSD. A divorce -- especially one where you weren't prepared for the news -- can shock you to the core, leave you short of breath, and make you feel like you are losing your mind.

Lisa Arends, in the Huffington Post article, "PTSD After Divorce," describes her reaction to divorce as a full year of literally trembling. Flashbacks, nightmares, and the inability to eat or sleep also plagued Ms. Arends following her husband's text message announcing his departure. If you feel like your shock, depression, anxiety, and panic-attacks triggered by your divorce have been going on for an inordinate amount of time, it's possible you may be suffering from PTSD or something very similar.

PTSD after divorce is usually seen where there is also an abrupt exit, an announcement of a long-standing affair, or a proclamation that your partner never really loved you. One Australian divorcee, Aaron Stevenson said, "You don't have to have fought in Afghanistan or got run over by a car to have PTSD; basically it's about having trauma and, in some way, feeling you're at risk". It happens as we desperately try to make it through the "brutal process" of an inevitable break-up.

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Take account of your feelings

Graine Mediation | PTSD after divorceMs. Arends talks about how important it is to take account of your own feelings and reactions so that you'll be the best-equipped to speak to a doctor or therapist about the problem. It may seem counter-intuitive to you, after such a loss and shock, to spend more time thinking about how you're feeling. A natural inclination is to shove feelings to the back and numb up your exterior. This kind of bottling-up of emotions is ultimately harmful as they could begin to manifest themselves in detrimental ways. In addition to speaking to a therapist or doctor, she suggests yoga and meditation.

You don't need to be a prisoner of your own emotions--there is help, and things can get better.

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Written with assistance from: Jane Baber, Mediation Assistant

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