For many men, going through a divorce feels like a failure — and that perception often leads some of them down the long, windy road to depression.
“The loss of an important relationship like a marriage can be very difficult for anyone, but it appears that men are more likely to get depressed, whereas women suffer more financial hardship initially,” says Daniel Buccino
, an assistant professor in Johns Hopkins’ Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science
. “Such substantial loss can trigger a depressive episode in vulnerable individuals, or depressive symptoms could have exacerbated the marital dissolution, which then get worse when the marriage is over.”
According to a 2007 study from Statistics Canada
, men appear to fare worse emotionally than women do following a divorce. The study found that men who had divorced or separated were six times more likely to report some depression compared with men who stay married. The study showed that the loss of custody and parental responsibilities were the most stressful changes for men. “Men's social lives largely revolve around their spouses and family, and when that is disrupted, it can leave men more isolated and prone to depression,” says Buccino.