According to a new paper published in the Journal Of Men's Health, divorce can take a great mental and physical toll on men. Specifically, divorced and unmarried men have higher rates of mortality and are more prone to substance abuse and depression than married men.
The paper, titled "The Influence of Divorce on Men's Health," concluded that divorced and unmarried men have mortality rates up to 250 percent higher than married men. The causes of premature death for divorced men include cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke. Divorced men are also more prone to various diseases, ranging from common colds to life-threatening health problems like cancer and heart attacks.
Divorce can also affect men's mental well being; the researchers found that divorced men are more likely to partake in risky activities such as abusing alcohol and drugs, and divorced or separated men have a suicide rate that is 39 percent higher than that of married men. Depression is also more common for divorced men than married men, and divorced men undergo psychiatric care 10 times more often than married men do.
Dr. Ridwan Shabsigh, the president of the International Society of Men's Health, explained the importance of the study's findings in a press release.
“Popular perception, and many cultures as well as the media present men as tough, resilient, and less vulnerable to psychological trauma than women. However, this article serves as a warning signal not to follow such unfounded perceptions,” he said. “The fact is that men get affected substantially by psychological trauma and negative life events such as divorce, bankruptcy, war, and bereavement. Research is urgently needed to investigate the prevalence and impact of such effects and to develop diagnosis and treatment guidelines for practitioners.”
This isn't the first study to look at how divorce affects people's health. In August, a study out of Finland found that antidepressant use spikes in the months preceding divorce, and a study published in July 2013 found that children of divorce may be more susceptible to serious health problems later in life.
Check out the slideshow below for even more interesting divorce-related research findings.