Every day in the media in Washington, there is another story of a famous couple breaking up or ending a marriage. It makes it start to seem as if divorce is normal and even something that is easy. The truth is that for the average citizen, divorce can be extremely difficult, mentally, physically and emotionally. One area many fail to address when they divorce is their physical health. Because splitting up is so difficult emotionally, it can eventually take a toll on your physical health unless you know how to combat the effects.

Health.com identifies a study where women who had been through more than one divorce were 77% more likely to have a heart attack and those who had been through one divorce were 24% more likely to have a heart attack. Obviously, divorce is hard on the heart in more than one way.

Studies also show that those who go through a divorce are more likely to develop chronic health conditions such as mobility issues, diabetes and heart disease. Divorce also takes a toll on mental health and those who have a history of depression are more likely to have a relapse when going through a divorce.

The stress of a divorce can increase the blood pressure and decrease the ability of the immune system to fight off everything from the common cold to autoimmune disorders. When you are stressed and focused on your emotions, you are also less likely to continue with healthy eating and exercise habits, which can lead to poor health.

A divorce that drags on can lead to heavy problems with anxiety, depression and even substance abuse. Mediation is an option that often helps splitting couples find a way to end a marriage in a peaceful, amicable way.

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.