Study points to importance of understanding divorce and depression

A recent study found that people who have suffered depression prior to a divorce are more likely to experience another bout than those who have not.

Divorce can understandably present one of the most difficult times in someone's life. People in Connecticut who are ending their marriage may experience sadness, anxiety and frustration. A recent study sought to evaluate how divorce and depression are related. The findings illustrate why it is important for medical professionals to know someone's history with depression, especially if a divorce is imminent.

The research

The study, published in Clinical Psychological Science, explored how a divorce could play a role in triggering depression. Researchers referred to information from a national survey of 7,000 people in the United States who are between the ages of 25 and 74.

The results of the evaluation found that 60 percent of people who had previously experienced depression and went through a divorce had another bout of depression after the end of the marriage. However, when it came to people who had never had depression before, only 10 percent experienced it after the divorce.

In a press release published with the Association for Psychological Science, the lead researcher on the study stated that a clinician should be aware of someone's history of depression, as he or she may need special attention in the event of a divorce. The researcher also stated that people without a history of depression appear to be more resilient.

Coping with divorce

Simply because someone may not be prone to depression does not mean that the event will not be upsetting or even traumatic. However, there are some ways that people going through the process can find ways to cope.

For example, the American Psychological Association points out that going through divorce mediation as opposed to battling in litigation can actually help the spouses, the children and the emotional toll the process can take. Additionally, people can do the following:

  • Be kind to themselves instead of dwelling on feelings of guilt
  • Make a list of points to discuss so matters do not go unaddressed
  • Keep conflict away from children
  • Find a support network
  • Eat right and get exercise to take care of individual health

Experts also encourage people going through a divorce to start a new chapter by trying new activities. Or, revisit activities or hobbies that were neglected during the marriage.

Some people may also find that working with a psychologist or mental health professional is beneficial. This is especially true for anyone who is prone to depression or believes he or she may have developed the condition. Additionally, a psychologist can help people identify both healthy and unhealthy patterns in their individual lives as well as in relationships.

Anyone who has concerns regarding a divorce in Connecticut should speak with a family law attorney.