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Struggling with divorce-related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Most Americans have some familiarity with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. They may be aware that it is a condition that many combat soldiers, accident survivors and trauma victims suffer from. What many Americans likely do not know is that divorce can cause PTSD symptoms in certain individuals.

Divorce-related PTSD is rare. However, individuals who have suffered domestic abuse, who have struggled with truly narcissistic spouses, who have endured extremely high-conflict divorce proceedings or who have lived through other traumatic circumstances may develop PTSD symptoms much like other trauma victims do.

It is important to understand that PTSD is nothing to be ashamed of. This condition is actually a very normal (yet awful) way for a human to respond when overwhelmed by violent, abusive or otherwise traumatic circumstances. It is an initially normal biological response, but it must be treated before the affected individual can cope in healthy ways and move forward with his or her life.

When an individual is dealing with the threat of physical abuse or is suffering emotional abuse while trying to successfully divorce a spouse, the process can become traumatic. As a result, it is important that victims of traumatic divorces alert their attorneys to what is occurring behind the scenes. The law often protects individuals whose spouses pose an abusive threat.

In addition, it is important for individuals who are struggling through traumatic divorce proceedings to seek mental and emotional support. Counselors and therapists are trained to spot PTSD symptoms and to help individuals cope with them. Failure to seek help if you need it may result in excruciating symptoms for years to come and may affect your divorce and child custody settlements.

If you think that you may be suffering from divorce-related PTSD, please alert your attorney and seek mental health support.

Source: The Huffington Post, “What It's Like To Suffer From PTSD Post-Divorce,” Cathy Meyer, Jan. 15, 2014

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