Sunday, May 26, 2024

Can You Have Ptsd From Divorce

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Fairway Divorce Can Make The Divorce Process Better

7 Tips To Help Someone With PTSD | Mental Health 101 | Kati Morton

Part of the reason that people experience divorce PTSD is due to the severity of the divorce process. Fairway Divorce can help thanks to our unique mediation services.

We believe in making the divorce process as smooth a process as possible. No more vicious fighting, no more leaving one side financially destitute. There is simply a better way to achieve a divorce than divorce lawyers would have you believe.

Attend To Basic And Emotional Needs

A lot of PTSD sufferers very simply cant work a steady job. Its difficult to explain to the boss and coworkers why you flipped out and started acting strangely after a trigger. Thus, the SO might have been a source of financial support as well emotional structure and support. Thats gone.

This means that you have some hard and fast decisions to make about basic needs. Ive been homeless exactly two times as a direct result of PTSD and I climbed out of it both times. The one thing you have to understand is that you need four things and you really dont need anything else: Air , Food and water, clothing, a warm bed / shelter from the environment. If your SO leaves you that desperate, then do as I did: Grit your teeth, get whatever clothing together you can into a comfortable bag, your laptop, all important papers and ID, and enjoy the fresh aroma of homeless in a homeless shelter. Do whatever you can to store your other things that you cant carry even if it means begging the ex to help you.

Who cares? You wont be there long and the smell gives you added incentive to get out.

If youre not going to be that desperate, then move on to step four.

What You Can Do

The problem is that you need to be able to think clearly at what may be the worst time in your life. The divorce involves a lot of work and life-long decisions, and your kids need you. You need to get and stay physically strong and healthy.

  • Do everything you can to choose a non-adversarial divorce process such as Collaborative Divorce or mediation. This puts you in control of the many decisions you will make. Litigation will increase your stress exponentially, so dont do that unless you really need someone else to make decisions for you.
  • Focus on your children. Discuss the idea of nesting with your spouse. Keeping your kids stable while you sort out your next steps is your top priority. This is hard because you may have your kids part-time, which increases the pain of the loss. Youll be grieving the loss of daily contact with your kids. Make time every day to read to them, or talk, or even just to watch them sleep. This will lower your blood pressure. When you hold someone you love, like your child, or your pet, my favorite hormone, oxytocin, is released. This wonderful hormone is calming to you and your child. There is a term for that, limbic resonance.
  • Join a divorce support group. There are online groups as well as local groups so you can remember that you are not alone.
  • Consider hiring a divorce coach to support you through the process. Hire a trained divorce coach who can help you speak for yourself in your divorce negotiations.
  • Be kind and gentle with yourself.
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    More Women Initiate Divorce

    The 2016 Census found that 41.5 per cent of divorces were from joint applicants while 32.5 per cent of single applicants were initiated by women.

    “There’s a significant percentage where it’s women initiating and a lot less where it is men initiating,” Mr Wiseman said.

    While the initiator may have spent much time thinking about the separation, the non-initiator was quite often taken by surprise.

    “It will come somewhat out of left field and it can be quite a period of crisis and distress when it’s done in that way because they then have to start dealing with it, whereas the other person is much further down the path,” Mr Wiseman said.

    “When that break up happens you’re sort of out on your own.”

    Mr Stevenson said he felt the same when his own marriage ended.

    “Things were slowly deteriorating, and I didn’t realise it until one day the writing was on the wall and it hit me it was like ‘boom’,” he said.

    Can Divorce Cause Ptsd

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    The short answer is, going by the NHS definition, no, PTSD is not caused by divorce.

    However, trauma is trauma and the mental scars of a marriage or relationship breakdown can be far-reaching and often present themselves as symptoms associated with PTSD.

    What is PTSD?

    Coined in World War I, shell shock was used to describe the trauma many soldiers were afflicted with during the war. Today, it is referred to as post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD.

    Officially recognised as a mental health condition in 1980, we now know that you do need to go to war to experience PTSD related symptoms and that trauma can impact on anyone living in everyday life.

    According to the NHS, Post-traumatic stress disorder can develop after a very stressful, frightening or distressing event, or after a prolonged traumatic experience.

    PTSD symptoms manifest themselves into three main categories:

    • Re-experiencing, flashbacks, nightmares and physical sensations .
    • Avoidance and emotional numbing, avoiding certain places or people, distraction, becoming isolated and withdrawn.
    • Hyperarousal , extreme anxiety, difficulty to relax, irritability, angry outbursts and insomnia.

    Although this list is by no means exhaustive as peoples experience of PTSD varies widely.

    PTSD and divorce

    Peoples experiences are so different, and we deal with trauma so differently.

    I recall one of our clients saying, Once you go through a high conflict divorce you are never the same, but can divorce or separation cause PTSD?

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    Trauma Takes Over Our Body Mind And Spirit

    Our brains are wired to react to trauma the way they did long ago when a saber-toothed tiger entered your cave. The thing is, your brain doesnt know the difference between a saber-toothed tiger and a divorce. It reacts the same way.

    Trauma changes the chemistry in your body. You are flooded with adrenaline and cortisol, the stresshormones. Your heart rate and blood pressure go up. You get ready to run for your life or to fight for survival. Or you are stopped in your tracks, the deer in the headlights. It is the flight-fight-freeze reaction built into your brain to help you survive threats to your very existence.

    Your emotional brain hijacks your thinking brain. The end of a can feel like a threat to whom you are as a person, your very existence.

    Your body speaks to you, and often your symptoms have meaning. Other physical signs include an anxious stomach or digestive problems such as IBS, or muscle aches and pains. In my divorce, I had TMJ, terrible pain in my jaw, which told me that I was literally and metaphorically biting my tongue. Notice your physical symptoms and think about what your body is telling you.

    Can You Get Ptsd From Your Parents Fighting

    When parents are fighting all the time, it can lead to post traumatic stress disorder. As parents become less stable, there is a development of post traumatic stress disorder. The home is not the same as it used to be. When parents make the decision to divorce, they dont always have the same clarity of thought as they did before.

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    Behaviors Associated With Rad

    Reactive Attachment Disorder shares some symptoms with PTSD and anxiety namely, the withdrawn, detached mode that many people fall into. Even the infants and children suffering from this condition will withdraw socially and not form emotional bonds with their families or others. They may even struggle to be emotionally and physically expressive with others or about themselves, and may act out or rebel as a way to try to deal with their feelings.This condition can affect peoples ability to manage their stress and emotions and can present itself differently in adults and children. However, the basic symptoms are the same a detached, anxious, or isolated sense of being with emotional distress or the inability to regulate emotions.Thats a lot, so lets break it down a little. People with RAD are detached. They dont connect well, socially or emotionally, with peers, family, or anyone, really. They are often left to feel isolated and will hold back their emotions or avoid interaction altogether. Many people with RAD avoid physical touch and are irritable or unusually angry or sad.People with this condition usually have behaviors and symptoms that include things like:

    • A tendency to act younger or older than their age
    • Tendencies to seek affection in dangerous ways

    Do I Suffer From Post Traumatic Stress Divorce Syndrome

    PTSD After Divorce

    Something that many of you may not know it that this month is the three year anniversary of my own divorce. Now, while I was an excellent divorce attorney before that tragedy, I now fly at an even higher level because I now truly understand what my clients are going through emotionally. Certainly, as an expert on New Jersey divorce law I know how to plan out a legal strategy that protect both my client and their children. However, after going through this major life crisis myself, I now truly empathize with my clients in a way I never dreamed possible. When I share this fact with my clients I can see just by the look on their faces that they are thinking, wow, this guy REALLY gets it. However, as I always give each client close attention with respect to how they are holding up during the NJ divorce process, my vast experience, both personally and professionally, now helps me quickly detect when one of my clients are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Divorce Syndrome .

    In more severe cases following a really messy, drawn out divorce, the person may suffer flashbacks, panic attacks and an inability to maintain their careers and personal relationship. No matter what or how severe the warning signs may be, it is essential to seek help immediately.

    Do not ever let divorce define your life. I found a way not to let it happen to me and if I can do it, then so can you!

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    Divorce Ptsd And How To Treat It

    Many people dont realize that the financial and psychological stress of a bad divorce, especially if its ongoing, can cause PTSD. Divorce PTSD goes unnoticed because the diagnosis – post-traumatic stress disorder is so closely linked to war veterans and those who have experienced tangible atrocities such as seeing people killed in a car accident or witnessing domestic violence. Because no one associates PTSD with divorce, those suffering from the condition often dont get the help they need.

    According to the NIMH, a person is diagnosed with PTSD if he or she has suffered each of the following symptoms for one month:

    • At least one re-experiencing symptom: flashbacks nightmares frightening thoughts.
    • At least one avoidance symptom: staying away from people or places that remind you of the trauma worry numbness difficulty remembering the trauma social withdrawal.
    • At least two arousal and reactivity symptoms: easily startled feeling on edge difficulty sleeping irritable outbursts.
    • At least two cognition and mood symptoms: negative thoughts distorted feelings trouble remembering key features of the event depression.

    Acute Stress Disorder is diagnosed when symptoms go away within a few weeks. When they last longer, PTSD is the diagnosis. PTSD can also lead to substance abuse or process addictions when people self-medicate to numb their symptoms.

    Divorce And Custody Battles

    Divorce can happen at a variety of ages, which is why when someone who is suffering from PTSD is experiencing a divorce or is in the midst of a custody fight, the stress and anxiety of the situation can cause some of the symptoms to surface. In situations involving military members, legal procedures questioning your fitness as a parent or some of your faults as a spouse can feel like the critical nature of military superiors all over again.

    Custody battles involving parents who suffer from PTSD can get ugly quickly. Your co-parent could cite your behaviors associated with PTSD, especially if it is untreated, to suggest that you are an unfit parent, according to PTSD Treatment Help, a resource for people suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

    This is why it is vital that you have a family law attorney, who understands the unique struggle and is willing to do everything that they can, to ensure that you are well represented in your case.

    Sometimes, the behavior of a parent who suffers from PTSD creates an atmosphere that causes the childs behavior and feelings to reflect the parents own. This can be cited in court, as a critical point against the parent from PTSD.

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    High Conflict Divorces Are Extremely Stressful

    Mental health experts say high conflict divorces are extremely stressful. And extreme levels of stress, especially when theyre sustained for long periods of time, can have very negative impacts on your mental health which often affects your physical health. According to the 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 doesnt sound like the average divorce in the Lansing area , 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.

    What Behaviors Are Associated With Each


    Several symptoms are shared between these conditions, although each also has its own to consider. Theyre grouped together because of their likeness, after all. However, understanding the minute differences between each could also help people ensure that they get the right diagnosis. Understanding the behaviors and symptoms of these conditions is the first step in preparing for the divorce process, as well.In this section, well again go one-by-one through the conditions and list their common behaviors and symptoms so that you can have a better idea of what you may be dealing with. You can use the information as it applies to yourself or your soon-to-be ex, whatever the case may be.Many of the symptoms and behaviors of these conditions are rooted in fear and a sense of feeling unsafe, which weve discussed. You can probably imagine some of the most common symptoms, even if you havent experienced these conditions firsthand. Of course, there are also others that are less known that might surprise you.Then, there are those that make it easy to differentiate what conditions you are dealing with, such as the stimuli-based panic attacks often associated with PTSD. Keep reading to learn more about the behaviors of these conditions and what you should be looking for, as well as how to respond.First up, lets talk about anxiety.

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    What Can Be The Divorce Aftermath And How To Cope With It

    No matter whether it is a divorce or a break-up, it is always difficult and hard for both parties, a man and a woman. Some couples manage to go through this life experience with minor losses, but there are quite many of those who end up with a nervous breakdown or, as it is often called, PTSD.Can you get PTSD from a breakup?

    How can you recognize the very first signs of this state of your emotional health?

    This and other questions will be answered below.

    Defining Ptsd From Divorce

    PTSD, a popular acronym for post-traumatic stress disorder, is a psychiatric disorder that can occur after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. According to the American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition , a diagnosis of PTSD requires exposure to death, threatened death, actual or threatened serious injury, or actual or threatened sexual violence. The exposure must result in a response involving intense fear, helplessness, or horror.

    Divorce is no less traumatic than other potentially PTSD-inducing events. The DSM-V notes that people who experience repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of the event are at an increased risk for developing PTSD. This would certainly apply to anyone going through a divorce, which is often long and drawn out, with both parties reliving the pain of the breakup over and over again. It also brings forth a lot of other difficult emotions, such as anger, guilt, and sadness.

    While these emotions may seem normal for someone separating from their partner, they can become all-consuming and cause serious problems in a persons life if they develop PTSD.

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    Avoid Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

    When we are emotionally in a dark place, it is easy to fall into unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as drinking, using drugs, or engaging in risky behaviors. These things may provide temporary relief from your pain, but they will only make your problems worse in the long run. If you find yourself turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms, it is important to seek professional help.

    Some Information About Trauma

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    In a divorce, there is the first, immediate trauma, and then the longer-term trauma which may not fully resolve until long after the legal divorce is over.

    There are many triggers of divorce trauma.

    • You made the decision to divorce. Nevertheless, it is traumatic, contrary to what many believe.
    • You are suddenly blindsided by your spouse who wants to divorce, and you are in shock.
    • You have discovered infidelity or other secrets or betrayals.
    • You have been physically, sexually, or emotionally abused.
    • Family, friends or your children choose sides, distance themselves, or abandon you.
    • There are all the losses you never expected.

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