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Divorce and PTSD

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2022 | Divorce, Military Family Law |

Losing a meaningful relationship can have a profound effect on someone’s life. Separation or divorce can increase the chances that a person will experience psychological symptoms associated with trauma. The Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) asserts that divorce is one of the most stressful things a person can experience. There are additional factors to consider when one or both spouses are in the military. Military family law statutes in Oklahoma are designed to make the divorce process as fair as possible. However, this does not guarantee that some individuals will experience PTSD symptoms during and after the divorce.

What is PTSD?

PTSD, which was previously known as “combat stress reaction” was officially recognized in 1980 as a mental health condition and was listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, third edition. This condition was common among war veterans, but psychologists now understand that people can experience symptoms related to PTSD without being active duty military. Divorce is one of the life events that can increase the likelihood of PTSD depending on the circumstances. For instance, if the spouses can not be in the same room without arguing but need to determine custody arrangements for their children, this could bring on PTSD symptoms.

Symptoms of divorce-related PTSD

Military family law courts will examine all the details surrounding a couple’s divorce. One or both spouses may also be observed for PTSD pertaining to the divorce if they are exhibiting certain behaviors.

Symptoms associated with PTSD can include significant changes in behavior once the divorce became imminent. This can include an individual over-indulging in alcohol or engaging in risky behaviors when they are normally logical or reserved. Nightmares, excessive negative thoughts, and avoidance are also possible signs of PTSD.

It is also important to note that some people are more likely to have post-divorce PTSD than others. Individuals can undergo psychological evaluations to become more aware of their mental state during divorce and make necessary adjustments to deal with the transition as healthily as possible.