Clinical study reveals the link between divorce and depression

A surprising new clinical study suggests that depression brought on by divorce is far less common than many believe

August 27, 2014

The study published in Clinical Psychological Science challenges the commonly held view that some extent of depression is more likely than not at the end of a relationship.

The latest research carried out by David Sbarra (University of Arizona) and others revealed that only 10% of people involved in their study who divorced or separated without any previous history of depression went on to experience a “depressive episode.”

The report warns, however, that as many as 60% of people who previously suffered from depression and then experienced a divorce or separation went on to experience a further depressive episode.

It suggests therefore that where one or both partners have previously suffered from depression that extra support should be available.

The wide gap between 10% of people with no history of depression and 60% of people with a history of depression going on to suffer divorce induced depression came as a surprise to the researchers themselves who believe that further study is required to understand how this difference occurs.

David Sbarra says;

“If you’ve never experienced a significant depression in your life and you experience a separation or divorce, your odds for becoming depressed in the future are not that large at all.”

Neil Denny of Family Law in Partnership, divorce lawyers in London explains why he continues to believe that some degree of depression is normal following a divorce or a separation;

“A period of feeling depressed, even if it is never clinically diagnosed or reported, is a normal part of grieving the end of that relationship.  We believe it remains important that anyone going through divorce or separation is mindful of the well being and emotional impact that such a change in circumstances can bring about and that they are able to access whatever support is required at that time in their lives.”

Family Law in Partnership were established as a new kind of divorce and family law firm specifically to incorporate family counsellors and mediators into the support they offered separating families 18 years ago.  They have continued to offer that wide range of services to their clients ever since.

“This approach enables us to give a broad range of support for separating clients as well as providing excellent legal advice.  This can be seen in initiatives such as our unique divorce support package, our commitment to delivering the Parenting after Parting workshop and our ongoing support for Kidspace workshops for children whose parents are separating.”