What Happens To Your Body When You Go Through A Divorce OR A Breakup?

effects of breakup on our body

Divorce and breakups are becoming staggeringly common in our society, with almost 50% of marriages ending up in divorce in America, the state of marital affairs across the world are problematic. As per the data collected by a website called our world in data, the number of people getting married has declined sharply over the years. While there has been an upward trend in divorce rates globally since the 1970s. But, when one looks at these facts, the dire situation of romantic relationships begs one question – WHY?

Unlike the hot gossip tabloids layout, every month about celebrity breakups and divorces – these divorces and breakups are pretty much real. It is, as a matter of fact – an end of a beautiful journey. What follows is the beginning of either something extraordinary or something equally dreary.  Whether it is the end of a romantic relationship or a divorce, each has its own set of drawbacks. But have you ever thought about what happens to your body once you feel disconnected from the person you have loved? Have you ever wondered what goes on inside, as you break down outside? It is a rather fascinating phenomenon to see how our body reacts to an emotional drift.

It is an established fact that breakups are painful unless you have been in a toxic relationship with an abusive partner. They turn one’s whole world upside down because, for most, the person they were engaged with had been the center of all their attention, love, and care. The loss is colossal. A breakup or divorce sends one into uncharted territory. Everything is disturbed: from your home to your routine, your responsibilities, your family and friends, and sometimes even your identity. One keeps wondering what now? What do I do now? What will the future be like? How am I supposed to live without so and so person when I had planned to live my life beside them? Will I always be this unhappy and alone? Am I not worthy of love? Do I not deserve to be happy? A plethora of questions will pop up in your brain while you are going through a breakup or divorce – but hey, this is pretty natural.

Feeling sad after a broken relationship is okay – a broken heart can mend with time, but do you know that a broken heart is an actual physical heart condition? Over the years, what had been only considered hyperbole is a genuine scientific phenomenon! According to Dr. Edison de Mello, MD, Ph.D., Board Certified Integrative Medicine Physician and Founder of Akasha Center in Santa Monica says that “the heart can literally temporarily enlarge due to a condition called, yes broken heart syndrome.” Hard to believe, right? Neither did we, when we first heard about it. But it turns out that over time researches have been carried out to prove the existence of this phenomenon. If you like, you can be a part of one such study that is ongoing at NYU Lounge on Takotsubo Syndrome or simply broken heart syndrome.

You must be wondering, but WHAT is actually a broken heart syndrome, and if it is severe enough to be considered a medical emergency. To be honest, from all we know, it is a relatively temporary heart condition. What happens is that the heart of the concerned person temporarily enlarges and doesn’t pump well, which halts and slows down the usual body processes. Such as you might feel breathless, you might have chest pain, and you might feel fatigued after doing little to no activity. This condition might even end up in short term heart failure – scary, right? But the good news is that heart failure due to broken heart syndrome is very rare and, in most cases – treatable.

A broken heart is just one of the many physical effects of a strained relationship. What is really intriguing and concerning at the same time is the ripple effect, which starts right after the physical manifestation of break up. If you have ever experienced one, God forbid that you did, you’d know that the pain which one feels emotionally and physically is manifested in the form of sleeplessness, loss of appetite, crying spells, weakened immunity, acne, high blood pressure, and sometimes in the form of bradycardia or tachycardia.  

But what about your mental health and emotional havoc that is witnessed right after a divorce? To answer your query, we have combined a list of probable after-effects of a divorce or break up. We most certainly would like to point out here that while a breakup is as painful as any other heartbreak, divorce is tenfold more severe than the split. You might end up in a relationship that was merely a fling after a month or two and call it a breakup –, but divorce is a marriage nullifying contract. It has long-lasting effects, and sometimes if not addressed on the right, it can wreak havoc in the lives of people associated with the couple – such as children.

Coming back to the topic of mental health and the effects it has on the mental health of individuals involves let us first discuss the mental health condition a broken divorce can lead to. Since an emotional connection serves as a ground for people to fall back on whenever they are facing an unwarranted situation in life, such as a significant stressor at work or at home, or with friends. Given the case, a married person is likely to rely on their partner for emotional support, but after a divorce, they no longer have the safety net they had built up for themselves. It is as if you were jumping from a tall building expecting there to be a trampoline somewhere on the ground, but suddenly it is taken away. Coming out of relation can sometimes leave people unguarded and vulnerable emotionally. As it happens, people after a breakup become more susceptible to psychological stress, which, if persists can turn into a mental health disorder such as chronic stress disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder. Apart from the pressure that childbearing couples go through after a divorce, to cope up some parents engage in maladaptive coping behaviors – such as stress eating, using a substance to ease off the physical pain, engaging in risky behaviors such as impulsive buying and reckless sexual encounters. Lack of coping skills in parents can affect children’s mental health as well, which might manifest in the form of impulsive behavior in children, poor academic performance, and risky behaviors such as getting involved in drugs and sexual activities before their bodies are even prepared for it. A divorce can take a toll on a child’s mental health if it ends badly, i.e., if parents do not treat the divorce maturely, and fight over custody of the child, engage in toxic conversations and manipulative behaviors to brainwash the child into choosing either.

Consider watching this video to know more about how breakups affect your brain….

Not all divorces are meant to end on a bitter note; sometimes, it is a mutual decision that favors both partners. Hence a relatively civilized way of conducting the matters is to be respectful towards each other – instead of hurling abuses and being passive-aggressive. Considering you both brought a child into the world, it is the parents’ responsibility to take control of things before they decide to part ways. As mentioned earlier, the future of a child with divorced parents depends on parents’ behavior after divorce. It is the only damage control they are left with at that time. To make things easier for your child, you must sit down with your partner and discuss things beforehand. Maintain a friendly relationship with your ex-spouse, coordinate and align your schedules to make co-parenting easy, try and avoid fighting over custody of the child because when you brought the child into the world – he did not consider one of you his sole guardian – he considered two people who loved each other, so don’t put him or her through the ordeal just because you two fell out of love.

We do not encourage or discourage divorces or breakups. Instead, our only aim is to promote peaceful relationships among individuals as we spread awareness regarding the multitudes of chain reactions that occur after a single decision, which most often than not is taken on a whim. We ask you to walk out of a relationship where you feel abused and mistreated because, as individuals, each one of us has a right to live a happy life. If someone makes you think otherwise, then it is time for you to pack your bags and walk out of their relationship – but hey, have you considered all your options before choosing to walk out? Have you thought about communicating with your partner? Have you contemplated considering couple’s therapy? If not, then go ahead! Just remember, in life, nothing comes for free; everything has a cost – even betrothing a person you love. There will be times when you will have to compromise and sacrifice. Then, there will be times when your partner will have to do so – because relationships are about commitment and dedication more than they are about going out, holding hands, and writing love poems to each other. Relationships, dear friends, are about loving each other in sickness and in health – and in the words of Mignon McLaughlin – A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, but always with the same person. At this moment, we wish you good health and prosperous life ahead, which may be filled with love and nothing else.

Until Next Time,

Team Doctor ASKY!


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