As many Illinois couples know, going through a divorce can impact them emotionally and financially, but another serious consequence is the effect it can have on physical health. Particularly for older couples, the emotional stress and feelings of isolation caused by divorce can have a direct impact on their health.
According to experts, many of the emotional effects of divorce are directly related to and can complicate underlying health issues that were already pre-existing. For example, depression that is rooted in divorce can make a person more sedentary, avoiding exercise, and therefore complicating conditions such as diabetes and heart issues. Similarly, insomnia, another possible effect from the divorce process, can lead to forgetting to pay bills, eat meals or take medication.
While women usually suffer a financial penalty after marriage ends, men tend to suffer social penalties. However, both of these losses can directly impact emotional and physical health.
There are ways recommended by experts to improve health after a gray divorce. The first is for individuals to increase their social circle by joining clubs or spiritual communities and to force themselves to go out of the house each day in order to avoid isolation. Exercising, either through moderate weekly exercising or through relaxing practices such as yoga or tai chi, is also recommended. Adopting a dog can help keep a person active and feel loved and warm. Finally, limiting alcohol intake and seeking professional help when needed can help alleviate the effects of divorce on older people.
Another way to help offset the emotional toll of divorce may be by consulting with a lawyer with family law experience. A lawyer may explain the process and take care of the forms necessary to begin the divorce. A lawyer might also represent their client in negotiations with their ex-spouse and in court if it becomes necessary.