Is Post Divorce Trauma Making You Feel Crazy?…
Divorce is considered one of the most stressful things you can go through, right after the death of a loved one. Is post-divorce trauma making you feel crazy? Even after divorce, you will experience many feelings, including fear and isolation- even anger or aggression. Coping with these feelings starts with recognizing them, then seeking out help to alleviate them.
Post-Divorce Trauma is Not PTSD
Some divorcees will say they have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), but PTSD is only officially diagnosed when something life-threatening or a threat of bodily harm occurs. Many of the symptoms of post-divorce trauma and PTSD are the same, however.
Post-divorce trauma is the result of an extremely stressful situation. Dealing with attorneys, dividing up assets, losing time with your children, potentially moving out of the marital home, and all of the other circumstances that a divorce can bring on are all very stressful. Even the strongest people will find these changes difficult to deal with. Like any trauma, it takes time to heal from it.
Symptoms of Post-Divorce Trauma
Post-divorce trauma can look different for everyone, but some of the common symptoms include:
- Blaming yourself or others for the end of your marriage
- Extremely negative thoughts about yourself or others
- No desire to participate in the things that used to bring you joy (i.e. hobbies, hanging out with friends)
- Getting irritated easily
- Feeling lonely or isolated
- Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
- Finding it difficult to concentrate at work or during other important activities
- Participating in destructive behavior (i.e. excessive drinking or partying)
- Feeling paranoid (i.e. thinking your ex or ex’s family is “out to get you”)
You may also feel sad or anxious the majority of the time. These symptoms may come and go, but if post-divorce trauma isn’t addressed, they will often increase in intensity and frequency.
Coping with Post-Divorce Trauma
There are many things you can do to cope if you are experiencing post-divorce trauma:
Create a board of advisors for your life
These should be people you trust, whose opinion you value, and who can help support you towards creating your new life. This board could be made up of friends, family, and professionals.
Seek a licensed therapist
A therapist can help you understand how your history and your relationship with yourself contribute to the way you are dealing with your divorce.
Work with a divorce coach
A divorce coach not only provides you with support, guidance, and tools for when you are contemplating divorce or going through it, most of them help support you post-divorce as well by giving you the tools needed to write the next chapter of your life. They hold you accountable by encouraging you to review, recharge, and rewrite your life. It’s difficult to stay focused on the present and your future without a helping hand, and a divorce coach is that perfect helping hand.
Enlist friends and family
Make sure you choose those in your family who understand your situation and are able to hold space for you. Trust your gut. You know who the right people are.
Surround yourself with a supportive community
It is crucial to try and minimize your time on social media and find a group or community that can be objective, supportive and knowledgeable about what you are going through. This community will be your cheerleaders through it all.
Writing is not only an exercise for the mind, it creates a space for you to fully understand your own feelings and expressions. Writing is healing.
The good news is, this type of trauma doesn’t last forever. With the right tools and proper techniques, you will heal and start feeling better. The road to recovery is not a straight path, but while post-divorce trauma is challenging, it’s not your final destination. There are still so many wonderful things waiting for you.
Could you use some support while learning to thrive post-trauma and post-divorce? We are here to help. Our Split.fyi Community is a great place to ask questions and get resources, clarity, and build caring connections.
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