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What does divorce stress do to the body?

Divorcing couples in San Jose may say that they feel sick over the whole process, but that may not necessarily be a figure of speech. Psychology Today cites extensive evidence that the immune system experiences compromise as a result of stress. Your divorce may be the most stressful experience that you ever have in your life. Therefore, it stands to reason that the stress of the divorce could compromise your immune system and put you at greater risk for disease. 

Your divorce may be amicable, mutually agreed-upon or your own choice. These circumstances, however, do not mitigate the stress that is often involved in the process. While you are likely to benefit in the long run, the stress during the process can take its toll on your body, and because divorce proceedings can sometimes last for years, the cumulative effects of prolonged stress can be very damaging. 

The physical responses to stress in human beings are very similar to those that all other mammals exhibit. Examples include the following: 

  • Increased blood flow to the adrenal glands
  • Decreased blood flow to the skin and organs
  • Slowed digestion
  • Shallow breathing

The purpose of these responses is to help you prepare to flee a dangerous situation or, if that is not possible, fight for your life. Unfortunately, the systems of the body that produce and regulate these reactions do not differentiate between acutely stressful situations and chronic stress that does not necessarily require an immediate, life-or-death response. The body, therefore, reacts to all stressful situations, even chronic stress, the same way, which can cause a breakdown in the body over time. 

Fortunately, however, there are things that you can do to manage divorce stress. They include talking about your feelings with others, asking for help when needed and not holding yourself to unreasonable expectations. 

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.