According to a new study, depressive episodes may be triggered by divorce in people with a history of the condition. The results of this new study published in Clinical Psychological Science.
“Stressful life events like divorce are associated with significant risk for prolonged emotional distress, including clinically-significant depression,” notes psychological scientist and lead researcher David Sbarra of the University of Arizona. “At the same time, we know from considerable research that the experience of divorce is non-random. Some people are at a much greater risk for experiencing a divorce than other people.”
With this in mind, the researchers sought to see if it was divorce that triggered the depression, or if it was the events that led to the divorce that did it. In searching for the answer, the researchers analyzed data collected from the longitudinal, nationally representative Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS) study. What they learned was that divorce triggered depression in 60 percent of the participants who had a previous episode. The researchers also found that of the participants who didn’t have a history of depression, only 10 percent of those had an episode after divorce.
“These findings are very important because they affirm the basic notion that most people are resilient in the face of divorce and that we do not see severe disorder among people without a history of a past depressive illness,” says Sbarra. “If you’ve never experienced a significant depression in your life and you experience a separation or divorce, your odds for becoming depressed in the future are not that large at all.”
Depression is a condition that affects millions of women worldwide. Depression is a common condition that is often treated with drugs like Paxil when detected. Paxil is a class of antidepressant drug called an SSRI, which works by changing the levels of serotonin in the brain. But the drug has been linked to serious side effects, including violent and suicidal thoughts and behavior. The drug is also known to cause birth defects in babies exposed to the drug in-utero. Some of the side effects linked to Paxil include PPHN, oral clefts, spina bifida and neural tube defects.