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Children of Divorce Experiencing PTSD 
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Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:16 pm
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So I wanna throw this out there to anyone who's interested in discussing this subject. In my literature class, a "topic for further discussion" was the subject of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Some therapists believe that children of divorce can exhibit symptoms of PTSD.

What do you think?
  • Do you believe that divorce is or is not traumatizing enough to conjure PTSD (as opposed to war, car crashes, and natural disasters)?
  • Who is at fault for the child exhibiting signs of PTSD?
  • Any personal experiences?

Personally, I think if the kid is experiencing PTSD from a divorce, then the parents effed up somewhere 'cause that isn't traumatizing if the parents go about it the right way - that is, thinking for the child and not for themselves and the alimony.

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Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:11 pm
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I think a child can suffer from PTSD from a divorce that involved a LOT of EXTREME violence. The chances of it happening are slim in my opinion. My parents got divorced. I saw lots of the violence that occurred before, during, and after the divorce. Before the divorce, I literally saw my father holding a knife to my mom's jugular. He was less than an inch away from killing her. I don't have PTSD from the divorce, but I can say I have a LOT of stress and anxiety from it. My dad is refusing to pay alimony and child support and the court is only forcing him to pay the child support, which he still refuses to pay. Few months ago, he was finally found guilty of willfulness and they are awaiting another trial.

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Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:26 pm
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@Red Eyes;
I am deeply sorry to hear you had to go though that, I wouldn't want anyone to experience that at any time of their life, but we aren't able to control how others behave. I can't really say anything to make it better, but hope that life turns out far better than it did then and now.

As for the topic;
It can possible, I don't have PTSD (but it may be possible I do, I just haven't been tested for it yet), but my parents were divorced. I would sit at the stairs near the railing (the stairs were right by the front door, the kitchen and the rest of the house were down the hallway) and listen to them yelling at one another. I don't know if it got physical, but I just stayed out of the way.

I do know that my father physically abused me (I'm not sure if it really is physical abuse, so please forgive me) after the divorce, where he would have this lady friend he found. When we went out shopping, he'd always pull me aside if I didn't look like I was enjoying myself (forcefully jerk me aside with a vice grip on my upper arm) and hiss at me to act like I'm having fun and so on. I think he mentally programed me to put others needs before my own, which is what I tend to do now.

It may also have caused my anxiety issues because I grew up in a household with yelling parents and it lasted for twelve years (they divorced when I was twelve). Also, thinking about it now, it may have caused my Eating Disorder too. Depression is a yes, I feel worthless like I can't do anything right and so on. Even considered self harm and suicide. I don't know if this ties up or leads up to PTSD, but I would say it's possible through divorce. I would think a lot of children sexually, physically, or mentally abused have gone through a divorce in some time of their life. There is no 'happy' or 'perfect' family.

So in other words, I think PTSD via divorce can happen from extreme violence or other reasons. I know not a lot of PTSD is from extreme violence, but it's the placeholder as the cause of it.

If this has any triggers, please tell me and I'll put it under a spoiler and mark it with a warning, I don't want people to freak out.

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Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:22 pm
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    I don't think anyone in this thread has experienced a childhood divorce.
    My parents divorced wen I was six, and apparently I was lucky that they lasted that long. I guess I was also lucky because my dad prevented my mother from using me as a tool to get more money out of him, but it was a nasty custody battle that waged for a few months before it was entirely settled. I don't think anyone in this thread has seen the effect of a failed marriage on their father, who ended up burying all of that pain down so deep that it's been internalized so that he and his child could survive, or known that their own mother didn't want to keep them because they live, but because they could have been a pay check. When you're a small child that's old enough to recognize that Blast's gone south, you internalize it as well. It was a long part of my childhood where I decided that apparently it was my fault that they divorced, and my fault that they argued when they thought I was asleep, even though it was for many other reasons.
    And then there's the wondering what /you/ did to make your other parent stop talking to you. My mother didn't contact me for 12 years after my dad and I moved away [then pingponged around the country for unrelated reasons], when my grandmother didn't move from my father's childhood home.

    I cut out a lot of unrelated Blast, but I do have some anxiety and self-esteem issues stemming from their divorce and the consequent slicing off of an entire half of my family, which hasn't made any effort to contact me.

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Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:56 am
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My parents got officially divorced when I was in fifth grade. The divorce was filed when I was in third grade. That is a childhood divorce.

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Sat Mar 22, 2014 9:39 pm
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TBH, my parents aren't divorced, but I know at least 3 people that have divorced/ parents at the edge of divorce, but they didn't because they don't have enough money
1 of them has parents that divorced about 2 years ago, she's quite cheerful, however I once caught her crying alone at school when she thought no one was looking. She didn't experience PTSD, but personally I think divorce can seriously affect a child mentally.
The top student in my class has a financial crisis, because of her father's binge drinking&gambling habits. Her mother had had enough, and had a VERY big argument with him right before the exam. The top student in my class got many disappointed looks from various teachers.
The last person I'd like to talk about committed suicide. 1 of my father's coworkers had a divorce, and the 14 year old son just couldn't take it, and jumped from the 18th floor of a building. Although I didn't know that boy, I still feel bad for him. RIP in heaven.

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Sun May 25, 2014 3:30 am
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Divorce is different for every family, and I think it's definitely possible to have averse, long-term reactions to it. I think even siblings experiencing the same divorce will have different reactions to it and be affected differently by it.

My parents divorced when I was four and my father then moved halfway around the world; I didn't see him for three years, and even after he moved back into the same country as me, he had very little to do with me. I consider myself a poster child for parents making good divorce decisions, but a lot of my issues can be traced back to starting with that childhood divorce.

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Sun Jul 06, 2014 9:51 am
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My parent's separated when I was 5, and my father was gone when I was 6. I didn't see him or know anything about him until I was 12, when I had moved to the same country where he was. He rarely wanted to see me, although he told me he loved me, but he was too busy playing video games and drinking. I haven't seen or spoken to him since.

Although I can only speak for myself, I haven't had much effect from my parent's divorce. I'd say all the trauma and sadness I've experiences came from my mother dating other men, and I think that is a larger cause, at least for me, than the divorce itself. I think parents can make it work in a way where the child will be able to deal with it better, but dating and leaving forever may be greater causes for PTSD and other illnesses.

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Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:13 am
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