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Coping With Divorce PTSD and Anxiety

Posted on in Divorce

Marriage and Family Therapist Virginia Gilbert says that there are many symptoms of PTSD that affect divorcing and divorced individuals. An afflicted person might have health issues, nightmares, obsessive thoughts, and generalized anxiety that presents as hyper vigilance. When there is extra tension or a history of violence in your relationship, it’s not uncommon for the emotional stress to manifest physically.

Gilbert has tips for those in these types of situations. She states that it’s vital to focus on what you can control. If your ex is abusive, struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction, or mentally ill, you can create high levels of anxiety by worrying constantly about what he or she might do. Instead, focus on the fact that your choice to get a divorce is what is best for you, and keep reminding yourself about what’s in your realm of control and what is not.

Getting support from others and compartmentalizing your life can help significantly when handling these challenges. In high-conflict situations, it’s easy to let the divorce become the primary aspect of your life, but force yourself to add other activities and downtime to your schedule. It’s not healthy for you emotionally or physically to become consumed by the divorce. Choose one or two friends that you can speak to and rely on them when things reach fever pitch. Find a meditation technique or exercise that helps you clear your mind, as interacting with the spouse can tend to flare anxiety and PTSD symptoms.

Finally, don’t get swallowed up by what your ex says about you or to you. Participate in activities (like church, yoga, or time with friends and family) that reinforce your positive image of yourself. Take it one day at a time and allow yourself the opportunity to unload emotionally when needed. Getting divorced in these tense situations is not easy and it’s okay to work through it emotionally. If you want to know more about separation, divorce, or orders of protection, speak to an Illinois family lawyer today.

Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Northwest Suburban Bar Association American Inns of Court DuPage Association of Woman Lawyers National Association of Woman Business Owners Illinois Association Criminal Defense Lawyers DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
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