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Divorce and Mental Illness

In 2011, a study looked at 18 different mental conditions and how this affected divorce rates in different countries. Across the board, it was found that mental disorders caused the divorce rate to spike 20 to 80 percent. The leading cause of these types of divorces were addiction, severe depression, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Other studies have found that antisocial personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, and other conditions have increased the rate of divorce. Even anxiety has been found to be a detriment to a successful marriage. If a spouse has a mental disorder, then this can be extremely trying on the other spouse. Not only can this disorder cause an irreparable strain on the relationship, but it can make a divorce itself more difficult, especially if the severity of the disorder escalates from the divorce.

If one spouse is depressed, this might be exhibited through anger, something very hard for the other spouse to bear. This may also place other burdens on the non-depressed spouse, such as the need to earn more money, deal with more of the family issues, all leading to fatigue and frustration. The same can be said for those who have a spouse who has an addiction. This forces more duties on the other spouse, who has to compensate for the struggling spouse. And the struggling spouse will also be more prone to shift blame to anything and everyone else. All manner of mental disorders can increase the most common factors that lead to and exacerbate a divorce.

That being said, it is important to assess whether a mental disorder is signaling the end of a relationship, or if this is something that can be overcome. Many mental illnesses can be treated. If the affected spouse is up for it, then this might be able to solve matters. It is also important to consider how much suffering is being inflicted on other relatives by the mental disorder. Also, all other things aside, is the mental illness the only reason you are considering divorce? Is your spouse's disorder degenerating, or is it static? There are many things to consider before approaching divorce, especially if one or both of you is struggling with a mental disorder. If you have questions about separation or divorce, then contact the Meyers Law Group, P.C. An experienced Long Island divorce lawyer can explain what either process would entail for you and your family.