Those who endure a divorce after the age of 50 may experience different emotions and circumstances than those who are younger and experience this life-altering event. While divorce rates in the United States have fallen overall, U.S. News reports that gray divorce has doubled in the past 20 years, leaving older men and women to pick up the pieces after a marriage lasting 15 years or more.
While divorce at any age can impact your health, enduring one while in your 50s or 60s can cause a variety of physical and emotional issues that may place your health in danger.
Mental health problems
The end of a long marriage and the resulting conflict over the division of property and assets can trigger mental health issues or make existing conditions worse. If a divorce is especially acrimonious, you may develop a variety of mental health problems, including:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
If these issues go unchecked, they may have a serious impact on your quality of life during and after the divorce.
The stress of divorce may cause you to lose sleep, but this can have a much more serious impact on you than those who experience divorce at a younger age. A lack of proper sleep may affect cognitive function and affect your ability to make reasonable decisions, especially regarding choices you must make during your divorce. The more insomnia impacts you, the greater the negative impact, which can lead to other problems, such as mood swings.
The economic and emotional strife of divorce can lead seniors to make poor decisions and put them at risk for future health problems. Regular medical care and counseling may prevent or reduce the impact of problems connected with gray divorce.