Divorce, Depression, and Drugs: Why So Many Women Fall Into This Cycle
October 17, 2018 - Depression, Substance Abuse - 0 Comments
Addiction in women is a problem that has many different triggers. One of the most common of these is depression, a problem that can originate in many different circumstances. Unfortunately, this problem is probably more prevalent when women get divorced. The three Ds of “divorce, depression, and drugs” is a situation in which hundreds, if not thousands, of women find themselves every year.
In fact, this problem is more pronounced in women than it is in men. While it is true that men use more drugs than women, females tend to fall into dependency more heavily. As a result, it can be hard for them to manage a 12 step detox program or another type of treatment program. This issue is also complicated by hormone and thyroid issues, particularly in the postpartum period that many divorced women experience after birth.
In this article, you’ll learn more about how divorce causes depression and why women turn to drug use when they are depressed. It can give you the insight you need to beat an addiction to substances like benzos, heroin, opiates, alcohol, methamphetamine, and other types of substances. However, it can also help those you love to get over their trauma, PTSD, anxiety, and other issues with their mental health after a divorce.
Many Women Get a Sense of Self From Marriage
Marriage is often a difficult thing for many people to get a handle on mastering. This problem is particularly an issue for women. Society often puts a lot of pressure on a woman to get married. Just take a look at all of the television shows focusing on marriages, women obsessing over marriage, and generally working as hard as possible to get hitched. And if they don’t get married, they are often teased and told that their “hormones” make it impossible for them to find somebody.
As a result, it isn’t uncommon for women to get too focused on getting married and putting too much of themselves into this activity. Unfortunately, some might be so driven to get married that they hook up with somebody that doesn’t match them that well. This situation is problematic because their husband may end up resenting them or they may end up getting along very poorly. Even worse, they may end up having children and feeling like they are stuck together.
Too many women to count have found themselves in this type of situation, and it isn’t fair to them or their her husbands. Neither the husband or the wife can really be blamed in this type of scenario, unless one of them is abusive or cruel. Divorcing because of mutual incompatibility is usually the best way for either of them to achieve happiness. Unfortunately, the heavy pressure placed on women to get married often results in emotional troubles even when they divorce.
That burden is one that is often very tough for many women to bear. Many become so intensely focused on getting married that it makes up the bulk of their identity. Instead of finding strength from themselves as a person, they are trapped creating a character that is based on a faulty premise in a flaws marriage. Therefore, divorce crashes that premise and hits them intensely hard.
Some Believe That Marriage is Toxic In and of Itself to Women
A growing school of thought is now claiming that marriage is a toxic institution for women. For example, some believe that it reinforces sexist stereotypes of a woman being unable to take control of her own life. Others think that a majority of the benefits go to men, particularly in forcing women to stay loyal to them, to move to their house, and to clean it up for them.
While not all marriages will follow these traditional roles, it is true that many men unconsciously believe that a woman should manage these issues. As a result, a woman is often stuck working a 40-hour job while coming home to cook dinner, take care of the kids, and clean the house. Being a housewife is already a full-time job and combining it with another runs many women raw.
That’s why it’s not surprising that a growing number of women are seeking divorce as a way of out of a frustrating and stressful situation. That said, they still experience the negative emotions that occur as a result of a divorce. While their husband is likely to experience some or even all of these emotions, they will be more potent for the wife.
Why Divorce Often Affects Them the Worst
Women who are unhappy in a marriage and who get a divorce often find that they are just as miserable, if not less happy, after they get divorced. That’s because they experience disappointment at what they perceive to be a personal failure. Staying together was their ultimate goal and being unable to do so is often disheartening to women who had given their all in a marriage.
Even worse, they may start losing friends after they leave their husband. That’s because many couples often have shared friends who are closer to one member than they are to the other. As a result of the divorce, it is possible that a woman can start losing friends who she had come to rely on for many things. Even worse, she may alienate herself from close friends due to her anxiety and depression.
As a result, many women may start turning to drugs and alcohol to cope. At first, drinking more than usual or taking heroin might overcome their depression. However, these drugs always wear off and require another dose. This problem is known as self-medication, and it occurs in millions of people around the nation, particularly women who have suffered from high levels of grief after a divorce.
The Five Stages of Grief May Be Too Hard to Handle
When you get divorced, you are going to go through five stages of grief. These can be very challenging for many women to overcome because they will force them to go through a lot of self-analysis. Unfortunately, just about every stage but the last can trigger abusive drug use. Understanding the following process is critical for your own recovery:
- Denial and Isolation – During this phase, a woman is overwhelmed and may either deny their divorce or alienate herself from its causes. Some may even turn to drugs or alcohol.
- Anger – Most people will get outraged after a divorce. Even if it is not justified, a woman is likely to be very angry at her spouse and may let it out through drug use.
- Bargaining – Trying to overcome a divorce through bargaining is very common. Women may try to get their husband to take them back or justify their use of drugs as a way of managing grief.
- Depression – The fourth stage of grief is usually the point at which a woman suffers the most after divorce. This stage can last for years in many women, particularly if you chose to numb your pain with drugs and alcohol instead of overcoming it naturally.
- Acceptance – Getting to this point is critical for women after a divorce. Learning how to accept your new single life is crucial for not only moving on but also necessary for beating any addictive behaviors that may be lingering in your life.
As you can see, grief is often a lengthy process that takes a lot of focus to overcome. Thankfully, it is possible to regain a happy life by focusing on your life after divorce. But if you get stuck in a cycle of depression, addiction is likely to take you by the hand and become your worst friend.
Depression Often Triggers Drug Use in Many Women
Depression is the number one cause of drug abuse in women. Unlike men, who often use for pure thrill-seeking purposes, women often turn to substances to manage their anxiety and depression. They also use it to improve their mental health, though this always backfires on them by worsening these conditions.
Unfortunately, the depression caused by divorce is typically so severe that a woman can fall into a cycle from which she can’t escape. The drugs numb her sorrow but don’t manage its roots. As a result, she can become physically and mentally dependent on drugs to stay stable and functional.
This type of life is not healthy but is very easy to fall into after a divorce. Unfortunately, it is the fate of too many women to count. Sadly, many of these women will never escape from this abusive cycle. Thankfully, though, many more will escape the grips of dependency with dual-diagnosis. This treatment method is often the most important thing a woman can do after her divorce.
Thankfully, Treatment is Available
If you or someone who you love is suffering from addiction after divorce, there is rehab help. Dual-diagnosis is a treatment and recovery program that takes into account multiple elements of your dependency and manages them all. First of all, it will help overcome your physical addiction through detox and replacement medicines. This process helps to clear your mind and make it easier to focus on your treatment and your overall health.
Dual-diagnosis also focuses on understanding the triggers that cause your drug use and identifying when and why they occur. This process is critical because it can help to make it easier for you to understand your dependency on a deeper level. Getting objective outside help from a professional gives you a caring and insight look into the problems that make up your life and your substance abuse.
Just as importantly, dual-diagnosis helps you recover from addiction by understanding the depression and anxiety that fuel your triggering behaviors. For example, they may find that you tend to abuse drugs when your ex-husband calls you. They can then pinpoint where those feelings originate, trace them to their origin, and give you the help you need to overcome your addiction effectively and safely.
Using this type of treatment plan is absolutely necessary for any woman who is suffering from severe substance abuse problems. Dual-diagnosis will get to the bottom of your addiction and seriously treat every aspect of it. Finally, it will provide you with coping mechanisms that make it easier for you to beat addiction. These often include relaxing techniques and other types of anxiety-management methods that make it easier for you to move on after divorce, depression, and drugs take over your life.
Don’t Hesitate to Get the Help You Need
So if you are going through a particularly tough divorce and you find yourself turning to alcohol, benzodiazepines, opioids, cocaine, meth, Xanax, prescription pills, or even heroin, don’t hesitate to contact us immediately. We are a dual-diagnosis specialist who has seen just about every type of case that you can imagine. Our years of experience will help us focus on providing you with a caring atmosphere for your ultimate recovery and success.
Our facilities include a multitude of inpatient and outpatient treatment options for those who need them. Inpatient allows you to stay at the facility with loving and caring individuals who are in a similar situation. Often, we can find other women who have gone through a divorce and can pair them with you. In this way, you can create a caring and nurturing support group that gives everyone a chance to overcome the problematic emotions behind their substance abuse.
So please, please don’t hesitate to let us know if you think we are right for your recovery process. We will work hard with you to create a schedule of treatment that will pull you out of the doldrums of addiction and restore you to a clean and sober life. We can also help you regain the personal strength and stability you need to live a better life after your divorce and to move on in a situation that is often challenging for many to overcome without help.