By Teresa Atkin
Mental illness can both contribute to and become influenced by divorce.
The heartbreaking realities of divorce
include the high split rate for people with mental illnesses. A multinational study
of mental disorders, marriage
published in 2011 found that a sample of 18 mental disorders all increased the likelihood of divorce — ranging from a 20-percent increase to an 80-percent increase in the divorce rate. Addictions and major depression were the highest factors, with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) also significant.
Elsewhere, researchers have shown a strong link between personality disorders and elevated divorce rates, with antisocial personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder having the highest rates. The authors accepted that there was insufficient research on narcissistic personality disorder to quantify its effect on divorce, although anecdotal evidence strongly suggests a link. With the reported increase in narcissistic traits in the U.S., we are likely to see this as an increasing category.
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