The wide-ranging effects of divorce and separation can include anything from general feelings of hopelessness and despair to acute and debilitating bouts of depression. In certain instances, divorce can actually trigger complete breaks from reality in which individuals are no longer able to carry on normal, productive lives. Episodes such as these may involve wild, erratic behavior in response to the types of major life changes that divorce can bring.
A Texas woman and her teenage son recently experienced just such an episode when the woman’s soon-to-be ex-husband ambushed them in their Fort Worth-area garage. As the man circled the vehicle, he repeatedly fired into the car, nearly missing the woman but hitting her son. The woman was able to eventually pull away and leave the deranged, gun-wielding man at the scene of the attack. The man’s sister explained that her brother had been distraught since the couple filed for divorce two months earlier and that despite counseling he was extremely emotionally disturbed.
Who’s at risk?
A recent psychological study indicates that not everyone is at risk for post-divorce depression. The study indicates that 60 percent of those who had previously experienced depression experienced post-divorce depression, while only 10 percent of those who had never experienced depression developed post-divorce depression. These results may help predict those at risk for such episodes, providing red flags about ex-spouses against whom divorcees may require protection.
While spouses are perhaps the individuals affected most directly by divorce, no one would deny the effect marriage dissolution has on children. Unfortunately, studies indicate that children from homes in which parental divorce has occurred are more likely than other children to have suicidal thoughts. This does not mean that such children are destined to become suicidal, but it does mean that vigilance and extra care is a must in any divorce involving children.
Those facing marriage dissolution require tough, caring advocates to represent them in all family law matters.