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Child Health Risks Linked to Divorce

Child Health Risks Linked to DivorceThe online divorce process can make life easier on you and your ex, but for children, there often isn’t an “easy way out.” We’ve covered studies here in the last couple of weeks that reveal some adverse effects on children of divorce, and today, we’ve got several more for you to consider.

If you’ve just gone through the process of filing for divorce and are worried about doing irreparable harm to your child, don’t. The simple act of getting a divorce is not a life sentence of misery for your little ones. But it does mean that you have to be more mindful of your role in their lives, and that you may have to work harder to keep the child from feeling alienated.

Here are five health issues that are often found in children of divorce. If you know of the possibility, however, you can fix these before they come to fruition.

1. Depression

It’s only natural that a child might be at risk for depression. His mother and father are his first and strongest examples of stability, and when he sees a cataclysmic change in the makeup of his family, he has trouble processing those emotions. He may even feel at fault. That’s why it is important that you go out of your way to give him the love, affection, and reassurance he deserves.

2. Insomnia 

In May 2013, Dr. James Sears of “The Doctors” TV show said that children of divorce are susceptible to a range of health problems including depression (see No. 1) and insomnia (or lack of sleep). If a child is depressed or suffers from anxiety, that can easily lead to trouble sleeping, and since children need anywhere from eight to 12 hours of sleep each night, that can pose a potentially serious health problem in the long term.

3. Heart Disease

In July 2013, researchers at the University College London conducted a study that found children in homes where the parents divorced prior to the child’s 16th birthday created significantly higher levels of C-reactive protein, which, the study noted, is a blood marker of inflammation associated with greater risk of heart disease, which just so happens to be the most lethal health problem in the US.

4. Type 2 Diabetes

That same finding from the University College London study also meant that children from divorces that occurred before they’d reached age 16 were at risk for Type 2 Diabetes. Not only is this a health risk, but it can also doom the child to a life of paying outrageous health insurance premiums or going without any type of healthcare coverage.

5. Compulsive Shopping

One thing married couples aren’t ready for when they’re learning about how to file for divorce is the financial toll it can take on both parties and, vicariously, their child(ren). According to a new paper published in the Journal of Consumer Affairs, first reported by Huffington Post, early life experiences — including parental divorce — can contribute to compulsive buying behavior in adulthood. In other words, the child is losing both his emotional and financial stability, and if he feels like he cannot regain the emotional, he’s liable to go for the physical, which can lead to unhealthy spending habits later in life.

So if you’ve finished your online divorce and you’re ready to move on with your life, don’t forget about what your children need from you. All of these things are fixable provided you pay attention and make an effort to be present in his life.

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