ABC Article – Psych nurse likens divorce for men to PTSD
Too often, a person’s mental health is neglected during the breakdown of a relationship. For me, this article not only brings to the forefront a mans perspective on such
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Aaron Stevenson’s painful separation led him to write a practical guide for men dealing with the trauma of divorce.
With more than 30 years’ experience in the mental health system,
Then, three years ago, it happened to him.
The psychiatric nurse’s 10-year marriage ended leaving him “blindsided”, just as his 50th birthday approached.
Likening a divorce to
“You don’t have to have fought in Afghanistan or got run over by a car to have PTSD; basically it’s about having trauma and, in some way, feeling you’re at
Paul Wiseman from Relationships Australia, Victoria, with more than 20 years’ experience as a
“Symptoms can escalate into extreme situations when people’s willingness and or capacity to seek help and support is poor,” he said.
While both men and women suffer during the experience,
“They go out and drink, do drugs, smash things, break things, get IVOs (family violence intervention order) against them, which causes another set of problems,” he said.
While there are many services for men and plenty of books, articles
The secret art of breaking up: Surviving and thriving is a guidebook for men trying to navigate the crisis of their relationship, which he co-wrote with his friend, former ABC reporter Corey Hague.
The first part outlines options for saving a relationship and the second part is how to make it through the “brutal process” of an inevitable break-up.
More women initiate divorce
The 2016 Census found that 41.5
“There’s a significant percentage where it’s women initiating and a lot less where it is men initiating,”
While the initiator may have spent much time thinking about the separation, the non-initiator was quite often taken by surprise.
“It will come somewhat out of
“When that break up happens — you’re sort of out on your own.”
“Things were slowly deteriorating, and I didn’t
Divorce ‘harder on men’
He cited a 2015 survey by Beyond Blue that revealed that 25
Often in a relationship,
Of those relationships men did have with friends, many of them tended to be “active” relationships.
“They might go off to the football together or the pub together or play golf together, but they may not necessarily talk about what’s going on in their lives and how they’re managing or not managing,”
Men need to relinquish control
Because men generally tended to be solution-oriented,
Some of the immediate strategies involved making a commitment to the need for change including strategies in being proactive, finding support, and planning responses.
“What to say, what not to say,”
One piece of advice for men was to relinquish control by agreeing with their partner’s opinions instead of automatically defending themselves.
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