Study shows only some get depressed over divorce

The decision to end a marriage is never an easy one. It is commonly known that divorce is one of life’s most stressful events, especially when children are involved. If you are thinking about a divorce you most probably will want to know how this decision will impact your life, your health, your finances, the lives of any children you may have, and more.

According to a new study published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, divorce is linked to an increased risk of future depressive episodes but only for individuals who already have a history of depression.

Psychological scientist and lead researcher of the University of Arizona reported that stressful life events like divorce are connected with a significant risk for prolonged emotional grief, including clinical depression.

The study also found that divorce or separation only increased the likelihood of a later depressive episode for those participants who reported a history of depression. Close to 60 percent of adults with a history of depression who divorced during the study experienced a depressive period at the follow-up interview. For all other participants — including those who divorced but had no history of depression and — those who had a history of depression but hadn’t divorced, there was no increased risk for a future depressive episode. Only about 10 percent of these people experienced a depressive episode at the follow-up interview.

The results of this study suggest that separation and divorce may aggravate the underlying risk but don’t escalate rates of depression in people who have never gotten depressed.

Divorce is never easy for either spouse, but when you combine a divorce with property disputes, spousal support and other factors, sometimes the entire process can become overwhelming. The ending of a marriage can be a trying time that is full of heated disputes and emotional encounters. People with a history of depression who get divorced warrant special attention and would benefit from support and counseling services.

It is prudent for any person facing divorce to find an attorney experienced in and who fully understands and will address the difficult issues that arise. Divorce laws are different across counties and in different states. Arizona divorce attorneys will be able to guide you toward a satisfactory resolution to this personal and legal matter.

Source:, “Divorce Elevates Risk for Depression, But Only for Some People” Robert E. Emery, Christopher R. Beam, and Bailey L. Ocker, Aug. 27, 2013

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