Divorce affects everyone differently. When you add in the stress of being in the armed forces, separation can be even more challenging. If you are going through a military divorce, you may want to be aware how your mental health may change.
There are many ways divorce can affect you
The Naval Health Research Center performed a study that compared military divorcees to service members who remained married. Those who separated from their spouses showed a greater chance of having mental health issues. The researchers determined that this happens more in the military than for civilians because of the loss of on-base housing, medical benefits and income.
Specifically, service members who went through a divorce were more likely to experience:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Smoking and alcohol abuse and addiction
- Weight gain or loss
- Anxiety and panic attacks
You may experience one or more of these conditions. These mental health issues can get in the way of everyday life—especially in a career where you might need to be alert and physically fit to perform your duties. If you deploy after your divorce, you don’t want your mental state to be distracting.
There are resources available to those serving in the military for problems like these. You should know your care options if you suffer from any of these conditions.
What should you do if you are getting divorced?
It can be difficult to predict how your separation will affect your mental health. The military offers plenty of options for counseling so that you can process your divorce with a professional.
Just being aware that these changes might occur is a start to helping yourself. If you recognize a decline in your mental health early on, you can get treatment before it gets worse.