Can a Divorce Cause PTSD?

Divorces can take a lot out of a person, both physically and mentally. But, can divorces really cause mental health issues once only thought to occur in warfare? Can a divorce cause PTSD?

What is PTSD?

PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is something commonly associated with those who have been to war. It has been in the news since the era of Vietnam, and now through the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Also known as “shell shock”, it is a mental health disorder related to anxiety and occurs after an extremely traumatic event.

Divorce and PTSD

While typically associated with combat, PTSD can affect anyone after a traumatic event, including after a divorce. Divorces can certainly cause mental trauma, especially if it was unexpected if there were contentious issues involving children or finances, infidelity, or for any other reason. More mental health professionals are recognizing the trauma these events can have and are diagnosing PTSD after divorce.


When going through a divorce, many people may not realize the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, even if they are obvious to others. Some of the classic symptoms of PTSD include:
divorce and ptsd

  • One of the most common symptoms is reliving the traumatic experience over and over again. Survivors of trauma, including divorce, might suffer from nightmares or experience flashbacks of events that caused mental trauma. These may be triggered by something that reminds them of the event, such as an anniversary, a location, or even a specific phrase.
  • Those who have PTSD may exhibit signs of avoidance. They may remove themselves from people or situations similar to their traumatic event or experience.
    Those with PTSD often become detached from their families and friends or may lose interest in things that they sued to enjoy.
  • People with it may suffer from medical issues where there is no real medical cause for concern. These are known as somatoform illnesses. They may suffer from chronic pains which have no medical cause, besides mental stress and worry.
  • People with PTSD may experience increased sensitivity, meaning they are more sensitive to their emotions or bodily sensations. This increased sensitivity may manifest as insomnia, high anxiety, trouble focusing or even hyper-vigilance.
  • Those with it may also exhibit an appearance of disorientation or confusion.

Contact an Experienced New York Divorce Attorney Today

Divorce is never an easy decision. And, if it was unexpected or contentious, it can cause vast mental harm. If you are going through a divorce, seek expert and compassionate legal representation right away. Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. is one of the most trusted names in New York when it comes to divorce. Brian and his experienced team are aggressive, intelligent, strategic, and most importantly, compassionate. They work diligently with clients and customize representation strategies to fit individual needs. So if you’re looking for a divorce attorney who will fight for you, call Brian D. Perskin &Associates P.C. today at 718-875-7584 for your free consultation, and learn why we’re New York’s premier divorce law firm.

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