If you’re feeling sick and tired after your divorce, you’re not alone. Divorce can have an effect on your mind and body, crippling your health in several ways. There’s no way to know exactly how a divorce will take its toll on you, but if you’re experiencing any of the issues in this article, it’s time to get your health back in check. Take a look at eight surprising ways divorce can affect your health, and what to do about it.

Depression and Anxiety Disorders

Divorce is not an easy process for anyone. Even if you know the separation is for the best, you’re still losing someone that you used to rely on and share a life with. Anxiety can skyrocket due to worries over finances, insecurity, finding a new life partner, getting back into the dating game, separation from your kids, and so on.

In more serious cases, anxiety can snowball into depression. Since the stress of a divorce is next in line to that of a death, deep feelings of sadness, loneliness, and worthlessness can set in. And if you blame yourself for the end of your marriage, it can take a toll on your mental health. Anxiety and depression are health risks in themselves, however, they can both lead to other serious health problems like respiratory disorders, heart attacks, and strokes. 

Insomnia

If you’re tossing and turning throughout the night, unable to get to sleep, it could be because of your divorce. Insomnia is a common result of anxiety and depression, which can surface at the end of a marriage. If you’re waking up feeling sick and tired, and it’s interfering with your everyday life, then insomnia is a cause for concern.

Insomnia can affect your performance at work, your concentration while driving, your memory, your ability to do simple tasks, and so much more. If sleepless nights are resulting in exhausting days, it’s time to get your healthy sleep habits back on track. To curb insomnia, try exercising and meditation, and make sure you cut caffeine from your afternoons. If the issue persists, seek out a physician or sleep expert who can help you get back into a healthy sleep routine. 

Heart Disease

A 2015 Harvard University study found that divorce is linked to a higher risk of a heart attack. For men specifically, the danger of suffering a heart attack rose by 30% for those who were divorced at least twice. It’s not surprising when you think about the financial and emotional strain a divorce can have, especially if it’s the end of your second or third marriage.  On top of that, if the stress is leading to sleeplessness, unhealthy eating and exercise habits, or substance abuse, the risk for heart problems and disease rises significantly. 

The good news is, the study also found that if men remarried, the heightened risk disappeared. Time to get back into the dating game!

Weight Gain/Loss

When you go through a high-stress situation like a divorce, your eating habits are more likely to be thrown out of whack. This could mean overeating in an attempt to temporarily satisfy yourself, or not eating due to a loss of appetite brought on by distress. a concern because they can lead to more serious health issues.

Being overweight can result in problems like Type-2 diabetes, strokes, sleep apnea, kidney disease, and high blood pressure while being underweight can lead to a weakened immune system, low muscle mass, hair loss, anemia and more. After a divorce, healthy eating habits and fitness are Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet can boost your mood, energy, and self-confidence through the roof.

Stomach Problems

Have you noticed worsened digestive issues, heartburn and irritable bowels since your divorce? These stomach problems are typical of someone who is experiencing acute or chronic stress. Your gut is sensitive to stress and stress can take a real, physical toll on your digestive system, causing discomfort throughout the day and night.

Stress can lead to spasms in your esophagus, increased acid in your stomach, and a reaction in your colon that can lead to constipation or diarrhea. When you understand how and why stress leads to negative physical results on your system, decreasing distress should be your top priority. You can do this through exercise, therapy, a healthy diet and lifestyle, and reducing caffeine and alcohol. Stress is often unavoidable, but there are steps you can take to limit its effects on your body.

Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is composed of a group of risk factors including high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels, high blood sugar, and abdominal fat. These issues are dangerous in themselves, but together, they’re a recipe for disaster. They increase the risk of heart attacks, stroke, and diabetes.

Metabolic syndrome can be brought on by things like depression, obesity, and an unhealthy lifestyle, which are all symptoms of divorce. If you notice you have a combination of at least three of the above risk factors, it means you have metabolic syndrome.

Lifestyle changes are the best way to rid yourself of this health condition. All of these risk factors can be decreased with a healthy diet, exercise, and quitting bad habits like smoking. Although a divorce may have you feeling down in the dumps and turning to unhealthy habits, the best way to get out of your slump is to rejig your lifestyle and get your health back on track.

Substance Abuse

Sometimes, in high-stress situations, people turn to drinking, smoking and even drugs. Substance abuse can affect your quality of life and health in a multitude of ways, and if not dealt with quickly, can be disastrous down the road, especially if you have children.

Substance abuse is used to cope with feelings of loneliness, anxiety, blame and worthlessness that are often brought on by divorce. And substance abuse can lead to major problems ranging from heart and lung disease to organ damage to mood swings and depression. If you’re turning to drugs, cigarettes and alcohol post-split, think about the lasting damage it can have on you and those around you.

Increasingly Sick and Tired

Considering all of the above, it’s clear to see how divorce can make you feel increasingly sick and tired. Poor sleep and eating habits can result in a lack of energy and motivation, a weakened immune system. If you’re always feeling like crap, it can affect your job, your social life, your relationships, and your lifestyle in general.

Whichever health issue(s) you’re facing, it’s time to take your health back into your hands and make sure it’s your top priority. If you went through a divorce and you’re experiencing one or more of these health issues, your split is likely to be the culprit. Divorce sucks, there’s no way around it, but there’s nothing better than proving how happy and healthy you are post-split.

What’s the biggest health issue you’re facing because of your divorce, and what are you doing to overcome it? Sound off in the comments below.

 

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