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The psychological trauma of divorce

On Behalf of | Sep 6, 2023 | Divorce |

Not all wounds leave visible scars. Some are imperceptible to the naked eye, cut deeper and alter a person’s sense of being. Next to a loved one’s death, social rating scales reveal that divorce is one of the most stressful human experiences. While not all divorces cause extraordinary upheaval, extreme cases may be severe enough to result in psychological trauma.

The progression of divorce’s profound pain

Psychological trauma occurs in response to a sudden and staggering event, producing a wide range of negative feelings. Aside from assaults and accidents, divorce can equally lead to an unusually overwhelming stream of adverse emotions.

Shock and denial may be the instinctive response upon learning how the divorce can disrupt the family. As the split unfolds, identifiers of a psychologically traumatized individual may become more substantial. These markers may include any or a combination of helplessness, social withdrawal and drastic changes in functioning, behaviors and views.

However, when the mind can no longer endure the intensity of a uniquely challenging and prolonged divorce, the person may soon experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The emergence of PTSD symptoms varies depending on the circumstances.

In most cases, those in the middle of a highly disputed divorce receive a PTSD diagnosis after navigating through a complex and persistent psychological maze for an entire month. These indicators may be rapid heartbeats due to flashbacks or constantly reliving terrible memories, avoidance of places or items that trigger gut-wrenching thoughts, and a gamut of physical or cognitive difficulties.

While adults try to cope with their conditions, they must also consider their child’s welfare. After all, if adults are already having a tough time, a young mind might have it worse.

A minor child’s comprehension may not fully grasp the weight of the divorce. The wave of adjustments may prove too much and, for some, induce feelings of abandonment. Ultimately, they may even blame themselves. Both parents must fulfill their parental duty to assure their child that they can provide support during these uncertain times.

After the pain comes a promising future

Surviving a traumatic divorce reveals resilient spirits. As in any survivor’s tale, the promise of new beginnings becomes possible if surrounded by a support system. Having legal counsel reinforces that transitioning to a promising future is not meant to be a one-person journey.