I can tell you based on my experience that divorce can make you sick. I was in a state of shock when I found out my husband of 37 years had filed for legal separation. I was like a deer in the headlights; I had no idea I was headed down this path, and it took an emotional and physical toll that I still fight today. Please note that I would never want him back because I now know who he is and I would never knowingly want to be in a relationship with a person like that. The initial trauma hit me so hard that some of the physical and emotional effects still linger.
Here are what some of the experts say…
“If you’ve gone through a highly emotional split, researchers say your immune system can take a significant hit.”
“..once that person is absent, your sleep, appetite and even temperature regulation can be thrown out of whack.”
“According to U. S. Surgeon General, about 30 to 40 percent of those undergoing divorce report a significant increase in symptoms of depression and anxiety (Brown & Harris, 1989). Any life change is anxiety and stress producing but divorce is one of the worst because it creates an unknown, unpredicted situation with lots of insecurity, low self-esteem and fear,” said Lucinda Bassett, CEO of the Midwest Center for Stress and Anxiety.”
High-conflict divorce is seen to be so stressful that it has been reclassified as one of the causes of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Women are twice as likely to suffer from PTSD under this circumstance having symptoms which include flashbacks, heightened anxiety, insomnia and psychosomatic illness.
Many sites have names for this trauma like “Divorce Stress Syndrome” and Post Divorce Shock.”Some of us may have panic attacks, weight loss, insomnia, decreased appetite, excessive crying, depression, anxiety and even PTSD. I think everyone is different in their response.
Initially, my symptoms came on hard and strong. I was on autopilot for days, going through the motions of life. I could not sleep, I would wake up at 2 AM every night tightly coiled in the fetal position, jaws clenched, my hands in fists, tears rolling down my cheeks. This insomnia went on for weeks. I lost my appetite and could not eat; some call it the “Grief Diet”. I had never struggled with depression, but my constant sadness led me to anxiety and depression. The very first week of my trauma my skin began to burn/tingle, and this has never stopped. I can function with it, but it is always there. I guess this is continued anxiety.
I like to think there is a special hell for those who intentionally hurt others. I call this type of act “like a death but with intent.”
I believe there are things we can do to help ourselves get over this type of trauma. I have found many suggestions online and many have worked for me. There agin we are all different and works for one will not work for another but they are worth a try…
*Stay close to family and friends.
*Force yourself out into social situations.
*Try stress relief techniques.
*Force yourself to do the things you may have loved but due to the pain have now lost interest in.
*Allow yourself to mourn.
*See a Dr, you may need antidepressants and other meds to get you through. I am on a low dose antidepressant and it saved my life.
*Hold on tightly to your faith.
I would love to hear your story. Did you have physical symptoms post separation/divorce?What helped you get through each day? How are you today?
What ever you are going through keep taking one step at at time.Seek help when needed.
Remember God’s Promise
“I will never leave you or forsake you.”