There are many reasons a couple could decide to file for a divorce. According to a multi-national study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, mental illness is one of these reasons. The study found that people with anxiety, depression, and other affective disorders record divorce rates higher than the national average.
While these mental illness and divorce statistics are worrying, they are not alarming. The symptoms related to mental health issues can make it difficult for partners to maintain relationships. Affected individuals can often face problems providing or receiving support from their spouses.
Mental Health and Marriage
Marriage is rarely easy on anyone. This is why divorce rates remain high across the country for everyone. However, certain challenges like mental illness can make marriage harder for some couples, more than others, even through no fault of their own.
Mental illness will affect every couple differently. While some spouses may develop adaptive routines to address the problem, others might fall into disagreements. Marriages where one spouse has a histrionic personality disorder, for instance, record the highest divorce rates.
Some mental health disorders, like a histrionic personality disorder, are more predictive of divorce than others. Someone with this condition will usually display rapidly changing emotions and attention-seeking behavior. Similar results can be seen with people with a paranoid personality disorder.
The end of a marriage can have far-reaching effects on spouses. Usually, a couple will decide to get a divorce if living together causes them and their children more harm than living apart. This is why it is important to address mental health and marriage openly and with a professional's help.
How Mental Illness Can Lead to Divorce
As mentioned, some mental health disorders are more likely to cause a divorce than others. According to the cross-national study, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse top that list. Here is how:
- Major depression – People with major depression tend to withdraw from their loved ones. They could also experience sudden, unprovoked bursts of anger. Aside from taking care of their unwell spouse, the other spouse is forced to assume more family and parental responsibilities. This can create a strain.
- Bipolar disorder – This condition can be characterized by depressive episodes somewhat similar to major depression. It could also include manic episodes where the unwell spouse is hyperactive or reckless.
- Substance abuse – The most cited substance abuse that causes marriage problems is alcohol abuse. Alcohol dependence can lead to financial strife and pose a risk of domestic violence in a marriage.
Get Help From a Wilmington Divorce Lawyer
The mental illness and divorce statistics collected from the multi-national study shed light on 18 different mental disorders. According to the study, having one or more mental illnesses can affect how long an individual stays married or gets married in the first place.
Divorce is usually complicated. Matters can get more complicated if one spouse has a mental illness. If you wish to file for divorce from your spouse and one of you struggles with mental illness, it is advisable to seek professional help.
Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division
300 N. 3rd St. Suite 310
Wilmington, NC 28401