Divorce-related post traumatic stress

At its heart, divorce symbolizes a transition between one period of an individual's life and the next. Most of the time, life after divorce can be bumpy and emotionally trying for a time, but then it improves greatly after a period of grieving and rebuilding has passed. However, some divorces are truly traumatic. For various reasons, some divorces are so emotionally and/or physically jarring that they can result in post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

A segment of the public incorrectly perceives PTSD as a condition that only affects victims of sexual abuse and veterans who have served in combat zones. In reality, PTSD can manifest in any individual who has experienced sudden and significant trauma of any kind. If your divorce was sudden and shocking, involved abuse or was otherwise traumatic, you could experience symptoms associated with PTSD.

It is important to address this condition professionally, should it arise. Not only could your response to this trauma affect your ability to secure a fair divorce settlement, it could impact your emotional wellbeing, physical wellbeing and overall health. In addition, it could impact your ability to care for any children you might be responsible for.

When your mind temporarily becomes unable to process the extent of your emotional shock, you may experience a wide range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms. PSTD manifests differently in those whom it affects. Therefore, if you are experiencing symptoms that seem out of the ordinary during or in the wake of your divorce, please consult your physician. Should he or she believe that you might be experiencing PTSD, he or she can refer you to someone who can help. In addition, please inform your attorney of your condition, so that he or she can ensure that it does not impact the outcome of your divorce or custody settlement in any way.

Source: Huffington Post, "PTSD After Divorce," Lisa Arends, Jan. 30, 2013