Can You Develop PTSD From Getting Divorced?Some Experts Say Yes You Can!

When most people think of PTSD sufferers, they think of soldiers returning from a war zone, rape victims, and other assault survivors. Perhaps even victims of highly traumatic encounters, like school shootings or terrorist attacks. While all of those examples are entirely valid, the truth is that you don’t have to survive something on par with the 9/11 attacks in order to suffer from PTSD, say some top mental health professionals here in Michigan. 

Anyone who has lived through a highly stressful situation could develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Including those who’ve gone through a divorce. (Just ask some of our clients in Grand Ledge and East Lansing, whose divorces dragged on for years because their narcissistic spouses simply couldn’t stop making their lives miserable!) 

High conflict divorces are extremely stressful!

Mental health experts say high conflict divorces are extremely stressful. And extreme levels of stress, especially when they’re sustained for long periods of time, can have very negative impacts on your mental health which often affects your physical health. According to the (DSM) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, PTSD is defined as a “trauma and stressor-related disorder” resulting from “exposure to threatened or actual death, sexual violence, or serious injury.” 

Although this doesn’t sound like the average divorce in the Lansing area (unless your spouse was violent), there are some interesting correlations. For example, extreme stress, which can result from trying to leave a spouse who is constantly a narcissist, verbally abusive or cruelly manipulative, is highly toxic. And that sustained level of toxic stress can wreak havoc on the mind, causing nightmares, flashbacks, and hypersensitivity. Our family law attorneys handle these cases all over Mid Michigan on a daily basis. 

Many experts say sustained high levels of stress are toxic!

While not every expert agrees with this, there are many who say that high conflict divorces can indeed cause PTSD. Several books have been written on the subject, and a number of studies have shown that people who undergo stressful divorces often manifest PTSD symptoms

These can include exaggerated self blame; extreme feelings of isolation; trouble sleeping, eating and concentrating; and paranoia and irritability. Other more extreme symptoms are feelings of disassociation, avoidance of any associated triggers, and debilitating anxiety. (It’s one of the many reasons we tend to encourage our clients in difficult divorces to seek out professional support during this time.)

Divorce can be very hard. But you’re not alone in this. We WILL get you through this. 

Getting divorced can be a terrible experience. In addition to all the added work, time, and life drama, there is the added stress. The stress of how it impacts your children. The stress of all the paperwork. And the stress of dealing with an angry spouse. It’s a lot. Here at The Kronzek Firm we understand that you’ll have a lot on your plate during this time, which is why we’ll be right beside you, every step of the way. We’ve handled many hundreds of divorce and custody cases over the decade. We don’t judge you, we fight hard for you and we’re your strongest advocate. 

Our aggressively hard working divorce attorneys have decades of experience handling every aspect of divorce, whether it’s a simple and straightforward process, or a messy and highly conflicted one. We’ve helped clients from all over the mid-Michigan area, including Holt, Okemos, Clinton County, Ionia County, Ingham County, and Jackson, with custody, alimony and separation of property. We can help you too. Just call 517 886 1000 to schedule your free consultation today.