It doesn’t seem like it’s too far of a stretch to realize that one’s health can be adversely affected by a divorce. It can be an extremely stressful time in one’s life, especially if the split is acrimonious. Battling for custody of children, hashing out child support and alimony arrangements and dividing up property can all take its toll on one’s health. The question is just how much can divorce affect a man’s health?

According to a recently published paper in the Journal of Men’s Health, it’s a huge effect. In fact, men who are unmarried or divorced have 250 percent higher mortality rates than men who are married. The study found that there is also a 39 percent higher suicide rate for divorced men than married men, but that could be because depression is also more common for divorced men.

The International Society of Men’s Health’s president said that the findings of this study were very important. He said in many cultures, men are portrayed as too tough to be vulnerable to various psychological traumas, including those that a divorce can bring. The truth is, the man said, that men are affected by psychological traumas — and very substantially — such as divorce, the loss of a loved one, bankruptcy and war. He also said that more research is needed to truly understand the effects of such negative life events on men and how medical practitioners can best develop diagnosis and treatment programs.

There have been many other studies that have looked at how a divorce can affect a person’s health. A study in July found that divorce can cause children to be more prone to serious health issues later on in life, while a Finnish study found that antidepressant usage went up shortly before divorce proceedings were started.

There are ways to make divorce easier. Consider surrounding yourself with a strong support system that includes family, friends, legal professionals, financial advisors and therapists, if needed, to help you get through this difficult time.

Source: huffingtonpost.com, “Divorce Can Have Serious Impact On Men’s Health, New Research Finds” Bridget Mallon, Sep. 30, 2013