How Your North Carolina Divorce Can Affect Your Health

Posted by Jonathan Jerkins | Jan 31, 2019 | 0 Comments

Divorce can take a heavy toll on your finances and your family life, but an often overlooked aspect is the negative effect that divorce can have on your health. This affects both your psychological and physical health, sometimes to the point where you are unable to function at work, effectively parent your children, or make decisions because of a constant sense of panic. While some amount of stress is normal, when your symptoms reach this level, you should seek professional help. These are some of the most common ways that divorce can impact your health.

Weight Gain

Divorce is very stressful, and this can lead to emotional eating and lack of physical activity. Men are especially prone to gaining weight in the first two years after a divorce. Gaining more than 20 pounds increases your risk of heart disease, cancer, and death.


Anxiety puts your mental state in constant panic. It may manifest as general uneasiness, worry, or tenseness. Divorce-related anxiety can be debilitating, and it may not improve without professional help once your divorce is final, especially if you share children with your ex-spouse and have to see your ex-spouse on a regular basis.


Divorce is an emotionally tumultuous time, and healing from divorce requires grieving due to the loss of your marriage. While situational depression is normal, depression that lingers long after your divorce is final is not. Signs of lingering depression include ignoring your daily responsibilities, avoiding friends or family, irritability, fatigue, and lack of focus at work. If these symptoms last more than two weeks, contact your doctor.

Substance Abuse

The stress of divorce combined with anxiety or depression (or another underlying mental health issue) can lead to excessive alcohol or drug use, especially if addiction is one of the reasons for your divorce. If you have children, your ex-spouse may question their safety in your custody, which may result in decreased time with your children. Willingness to address substance abuse issues and complying with any safeguards ordered by the Court can reduce the Court's concerns regarding your ability to parent your children.

Sleep Problems

The stress from divorce can disturb your normal sleep patterns, and this can interrupt your day-to-day life as well as increase your blood pressure. You could experience a lack of sleep or excessive sleep, and neither is good for your overall health. Lack of sleep increases stress, which increases anxiety, which reduces your ability to have quality sleep, so it is a vicious cycle. Excessive sleep can increase symptoms of depression.

Hire an Experienced North Carolina Divorce Attorney

Divorce is a stressful time, but hiring an experienced North Carolina attorney can reduce that stress and your risk of health problems associated with divorce. Jerkins Family Law can aggressively represent your best interests in your divorce and handle tough negotiations with your spouse's attorney. This gives you the time and energy to take care of your health so you can effectively parent your children and enjoy your personal life after your divorce. If you are considering divorce in North Carolina, contact us today.

About the Author

Jonathan Jerkins

Jonathan "Jay" Jerkins, a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, intentionally focuses his practice on all aspects of North Carolina family law litigation and negotiations. Jay was admitted to the practice of law in North Carolina in 2014.


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