A Canadian study suggests that divorce people are a higher risk of depression than those who stayed married. The study revealed that divorced men were six times more likely to report a bout of depression, and that divorced women were more than three times more likely to do so.
The survey found that 12 per cent of people who were no longer in a relationship reported a new episode of depression, while just three per cent of those who remained in a relationship had suffered new depression. Moreover, more than three-quarters of those who suffered depression in the post-relationship period were no longer depressed four years after the breakup, the findings show. “It sort of suggests that, for the majority, the effects of your relationship breaking up … people seem to get back on their feet but there is this significant minority for whom trouble seems to persist,” said Michelle Rotermann, the author of the study.
“Perhaps one of the reasons why men are more at risk of experiencing subsequent depression is because one of their main sources of social support is their partner, their spouse, and now she is no longer there,” said Rotermann, an analyst at Statistics Canada.Nineteen per cent of men who were no longer with their spouse found a decline in social support, while only six per cent of men who remained in a relationship found a drop. Among women the proportions were 11 per cent for those no longer in a relationship and five for those who were.
Jennifer Tipper, a research associate with the Vanier Institute of the Family in Ottawa, said “typically women are much better at building and maintaining social supports, which isn’t often the case for men.
“She said the study is a good reminder that the breakdown of a marriage is an extremely challenging transition for everybody involved. “We sometimes tend to think that it’s the woman who bears the brunt of a divorce outcome. And there is no question that women experience higher levels of economic strife. What we tend to forget in many instances, for the men in particular, they see children all but removed from their lives, which is a huge impact on your life.
“The study was based on longitudinal data from the National Population Health Survey. The analysis used five cohorts of observations of more than 2,000 men and 2,000 women, taken at two-year intervals. The respondents were between the ages of 20 and 64.