This Is How Divorce Literally Breaks Your Heart

It’s no secret that going through a divorce causes unspeakable amounts of stress. But you might not know all the other ways that going through this difficult process can wreck your body. If you or someone you know is going through a split, you should be on high alert. These are the ways the human body can be destroyed by divorce.

High risk of heart complications

A woman lies down and curls up in bed.

Your divorce can lead to some serious health changes. | Marjan Apostolovic/iStock/Getty Images

Multiple studies support that the risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular ailments raise with divorce. A Duke University study found that women who divorced at least once are at a higher risk for heart attack. The study revealed that men are at greater risk for heart attack after two or more divorces, although that risk reportedly decreases after remarriage.

Both genders are also at higher risk of acute myocardial infarction after multiple divorces.

Inclined to develop insomnia

A man stares into a mug while sitting at a table.

Your sleep patterns will change. |

The high levels of stress during a divorce wreak havoc on your sleep cycle. And a couple sleepless nights can turn into a serious battle with insomnia. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation reports that individuals who are divorced or widowed are more likely to report insomnia than those who remain married. This occurs when the stress and worry of the divorce makes the body’s resting blood pressure spike. While losing sleep for a couple weeks shouldn’t cause too much worry, going more than 10 weeks without regular sleep is a serious problem.

Prone to alcoholism

A man holds a drink while looking at a bottle of liquor.

Your might be tempted to drink more often. |

In some cases, alcohol abuse is what leads to divorce. In other cases, a dangerous relationship with booze develops afterward. The stress and depression brought on by divorce can lead both men and women to turn to alcohol for comfort. This unfortunately puts the divorcee at a higher risk of alcoholism and all the health issues that accompany it, like elevated blood pressure and liver disease.

Subject to metabolic syndrome

Sad woman looking down through a car window.

It’s okay to seek help if you need it. | Antonio Guillem/iStock/Getty Images

This terrifying physiological disorder occurs when you suffer from a mix of ailments, such as high blood pressure and obesity. Metabolic syndrome also increases the risk of diabetes and stroke. Women are reportedly at a higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome post-divorce than men.

Prone to physical pain

A woman sadly leans on a balcony rail.

During tough times, you’re bound to feel more emotional and physical pain. | Rawpixel Ltd/iStock/Getty Images

Divorce puts the body through so much stress that it can actually cause physical pain. Back pain and difficulty with mobility, such as climbing a flight of stairs, are possible reactions the body has while going through a divorce. Feeling chest pain, as if the heart is literally breaking, is also a common physical symptom.

A compromised immune system

A woman sits up on her bed while her partner sleeps.

Going through a stressful divorce? It might take a toll on your immune system. | Wavebreakmedia/iStock/Getty Images

The key reason ending your marriage can ruin your body is because the stress breaks down your immune system. Many studies support findings that prolonged periods of stress release too much cortisol and other stress hormones into the body. Your body also stops making immunity-boosting cells that help fight off infections, making a divorcee the target for all sorts of bodily ailments.

Risk of anxiety and depression

A woman leans against a wall as she holds her forehead.

Anxiety can be incredibly taxing on your body. | Viktor Gladkov/iStock/Getty Images

Many studies have been done on how anxiety and depression manifest after a divorce. Anxiety is a common feeling that occurs, due to the fear of being alone and the possible change in financial stability. You can also become depressed, however this is reportedly more likely to occur in people who already have a history of depression.

Prone to dramatic weight gain or loss

A woman on a couch looks downward as she rests her head on her hand.

You might find yourself eating less or more than usual. | Tommaso79/iStock/Getty Images Plus

A change in weight is all too common in divorcees, both male and female. But different factors can affect whether you gain or lose weight. The stress can makes you crave unhealthy foods, and therefore add inches to your midsection. On the other, the physical pain you feel in your stomach could be so great that you lose your appetite and don’t eat enough. In any case, the scale is sure to tip far in one direction.