Divorce can take a serious toll on people’s mental and physical health. In this extract from the second edition of Marilyn Stowe’s book Divorce and Splitting Up: Advice from a Top Divorce Lawyer, she discusses why it is important to seek professional help.
Some clients refuse to see a doctor or counsellor. “I will get through it just fine”, they say. “There is nothing wrong with me.” Yet their emotionally charged choices and behaviour suggest the opposite.
In my experience, a client may refuse to seek medical help because they are scared that if it comes out during their divorce that they are depressed and taking medication (although not every doctor will prescribe medication), the revelations will affect the outcome. They fear that they will suffer financially or worse still, that they will lose their children.
This is simply not true. Please rest assured that you will not be penalised if you have sought help. In fact, your decision demonstrates that you are still in full control of yourself: you recognise that something is temporarily wrong, and you are putting it right.
So if you do feel low and distressed – if you recognise that this is how you are feeling – and you would like to address your situation with the help of a professional, what are you waiting for? Professionals are there to help you. It is their job. Place yourself in their hands. Let them help you. Even if you are prescribed medication it is likely to be a short-term measure that should not affect you adversely and will restore your equilibrium.
Perhaps your GP will be able to spend time talking to you, and that will be all that you need. If it is not, please do consider professional counselling. I have observed that when clients have been to counsellors, the results are often swift and truly amazing. Don’t sit there worrying. The restoration of mood, self-confidence and assertiveness works wonders.
When you are able to put your worries into perspective and into proportion, the cold, hard legalities of divorce will become less daunting.
As for quelling your fears about the legal process: that’s my job!
Download your copy of Divorce & Splitting Up: Advice from a Top Divorce Lawyer for just 99p here. The profits from each sale are donated to the Children’s Society.