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Research Shows Divorce Can Increase Risk of Suicide in Men

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A recent report by Fatherly.com suggests that as many as 10 divorced men commit suicide each day. Likewise, the report reveals that up to 30% of divorced men surveyed had not been to a doctor in over a year and as many as 42% did not report having a regular doctor.  Given these facts, it’s no wonder that divorced men seem to routinely be listed among the demographics with poor health outcomes.

Fortunately, there is hope. Moreover, some of these statistics are a bit misleading from the outset. Let’s take a fair look at men’s health after divorce.

Are Divorced Men Truly More Likely to Commit Suicide? 

Despite the research, probably not. Historically, men have always accounted for fewer suicide attempts but a significantly higher statistical rate of actual suicides than women, as supported by research out of Europe published in 2017. This means men as a whole account for a greater number of suicides in the general population.  In fact, men commit suicide over 3.5 times more frequently than women, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Also consider that in the U.S., there are approximately 44,965 total suicides per year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports nearly a million divorces each year. Therefore, it’s not particularly surprising that 10 divorced men commit suicide each year in America. Therefore, before you give up and resign yourself as hopeless because of shocking statistics, always try putting them in perspective.

In truth, while suicide may be slightly more common in divorced men than single or married men, suicide is rarely caused by a sole factor. Depression, mental health problems, drug or alcohol use, and a variety of other issues generally contribute to these sad statistics. That said, divorce still takes a toll on men.

Other Health Risks for Divorced Men 

Married men in happy marriages tend to have the longest lives, according to most actuarial studies. This is supported by a 2006 study that also admitted that it would be difficult to fully assess the reasons why single, never-married men tend to have the highest mortality rates.  Nevertheless, divorced men typically struggle with:

  • Sleep problems
  • Higher levels of anxiety
  • Lack of hygiene and personal care
  • Heavier drinking and smoking
  • Riskier sexual behaviors

For these reasons, men facing a divorce should at least take stock of potential problems that other divorced men have faced. Whether you anticipate these problems affecting you personally, it’s worth asking whether you are at risk and what you can do to avoid problems after your marriage is over.

Ways to Improve Health After Divorce 

After a divorce, men should try to make time to focus on personal time, exercise, good diet, and healthy activities that focus energy and effort in positive ways. If a spouse obtains primary custody of minor children, a divorced man may find himself with a lot of personal time alone for the first time in decades. When this happens, it can be tempting to oversleep, drink heavily, or engage in other reckless behavior. Local support groups can be a good way to avoid these problems too.

Facing Divorce With Help 

At the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. in Maryland, we don’t just help our clients get divorced; we face problems as a team. We are here to help our clients understand their options and make positive changes for their futures. To get help with your divorce, call or visit us online today.

Resources:

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2566023/

cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/marriage-divorce.htm

afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5492308/

fatherly.com/health-science/psychological-effects-divorce-fathers-men-suicide/

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