In Maryland and across the United States, depression often affects couples who divorce after 50. Divorce may be related to health problems regardless of the person's age; however, people who get divorced later in life may experience higher levels of stress. Divorce rates among couples 50 and older have doubled in the past 30 years. Ending a marriage can leave a person with serious psychological problems, particularly if the individual was previously dealing with health-related issues.
Although younger people used to get divorced more often than couples over 50, their divorce rates have decreased during the past few decades. The trend to get divorced after 50 is commonly referred to as "gray divorce." A 2012 study conducted at Bowling Green State University revealed the phenomenon. Susan Brown, a researcher involved in the study, says that gray divorce occurs for various reasons, including the fact that the life expectancy rate is longer today.
Other issues include financially independent female spouses and failed second or third marriages. Susan Brown also states that older couples get divorced because they have different expectations about marriage and its relationship to happiness. She mentions that marriage is no longer focused on women being good mothers and men being the breadwinners. The study shows that depression and anxiety are often related to the aftermath of a gray divorce.
Psychological symptoms are often related to physical medical conditions, including Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Divorced seniors may also experience high blood pressure and insomnia. Tiredness, memory issues and a general feeling of hopelessness may harm a person's physical health. People over 50 who plan to divorce may want to consult with a family law attorney to help create a settlement agreement that does not cause anxiety. Consulting with a divorce lawyer may result in an agreeable divorce.