You know those commercials on TV that say, “Depression hurts.” Well, divorce may hurt even more, according to new research. Yes, we already know that divorce ups the risk your child will be prescribed Ritalin and we’ve heard how divorce can affect children for years to come. Divorce can also have a negative effect on teens and leads to men being twice as likely to suffer from depression.

But in the latest study, researchers showed how divorce can take a toll on our physical health — even after a person remarries.

The study examined 8,652 people aged 51 through 61 and found:

The study found that divorced or widowed people have 20 percent more chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer than married people. They also have 23 percent more mobility limitations, such as trouble climbing stairs or walking a block.

The researchers also discovered that people who never married have 12 percent more mobility limitations and 13 percent more depressive symptoms, but report no difference in the number of chronic health conditions from married people.

Even among those people who have remarried, the study found that 12 percent more reported chronic conditions and 19 percent more had mobility limitations. The remarried group had no greater depressive symptoms than those who are continuously married.

This study suggests another reason to seek out marital or family counseling before getting a divorce, which should be seen for what it is — a choice of very last resort, after other honest attempts have been made to fix the relationship. Divorce hurts everyone, even your children. And this study shows that even after remarrying, for some reason people who had previously divorced still report more health concerns than those who never divorced.

Of course divorce is a legitimate option for couples who’ve already tried everything else. Perhaps being aware of all the additional concerns you and your children may be at risk for can help you help ward them off — or at least better recognize them if they do happen.

The study also demonstrates yet again the intimate connections between our emotional and physical health, and how the line between the two is constantly blurred.

Read the full article: Divorce Takes Toll on Health



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    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Jul 2009
    Published on All rights reserved.

APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2009). Divorce Hurts Not Only Emotionally, But Also Physically. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 19, 2014, from


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