The Effects of My Parents' Divorce on My Mental Health

February 22, 2021 Alixzandria Paige

My parents divorced when I was 10 and the effects on my mental health last to this day. Learn about my experience in the years since my parents' divorce at HealthyPlace.

My parents filed for a divorce when I was 10 years old. This experience uprooted the development of my childhood and aided in the decline of my mental health. Although the divorce caused me a lot of pain, I learned how to face it and move past it.

The Warning Signs of My Parents' Divorce

My parents' divorce had warning signs. When I was younger, my parents were very involved in my life. I was always signed up for soccer lessons, ballet, basketball, or girl scouts, and my parents made sure to take an active part in my activities. 

As I got a little older and a little more aware of social subtleties, I realized that my parents were less involved in my activities. They were also less involved with the family and each other. Family events became tense and unsettling, with something clearly wrong, but nothing was being said about it. I was too young to fully understand, but I could tell that something really unpleasant was about to happen. 

This observation was followed by a quick decline in family functioning and happiness, and soon my parents announced their divorce. 

The Decline of My Mental Health Due to My Parents' Divorce

The divorce of my parents was messy. They fought over custody, they couldn't see eye to eye, and they couldn't agree on what they wanted. This created constant tension and a sense of walking on eggshells to avoid disrupting any momentary peace, and that is when my anxiety began.

My siblings and I shifted between houses while my parents tried to find their own footing after being tied together for years, and we all tried to settle into a new life, but it was really difficult. I struggled to calm down and always sought to read the room to reduce unpleasant feelings or interactions. 

Lasting Issues and Forgiveness 

Eventually, I lost myself to that cause. I spent so much time trying to create a perfectly-crafted experience for myself and those around me that I have carried those issues with me throughout my adult life. I still have generalized anxiety disorder, and it has branched out and affected how I make friends, how I interact with my family and partners, and how I behave in professional situations.

However, I don't feel as though it's right to blame my parents for my anxiety disorder. They did what they felt was right for them at the moment, and I will always accept that as a justified course of action. I have forgiven them, and I have looked my anxiety disorder in the eye and refused to enable it, and with those two things, I have set myself on the path of a happy and functional life. 

The divorce of my parents seemed to really uproot my childhood, but we have worked on forgiveness and rebuilding. I now feel as though I can move on from that event with better mental health. 

For everyone out there who had to go through the experience of their parents divorcing, how did you get through it? Leave it in the comments below.

APA Reference
Paige, A. (2021, February 22). The Effects of My Parents' Divorce on My Mental Health , HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 15 from

Author: Alixzandria Paige

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T. Cleary
March, 7 2021 at 3:31 pm

Hi, I think you are so brave to express how an experience outside your control has impacted you on the inside, so to speak. Unfortunately, People get divorced without considering the effects on young Family members who have to mistakingly feel it is somehow their fault- when of course its not. I wish you emotional healing as you discover this with the benefit of hindsight and adulthood, and thanks for sharing an inspiring description of your journey.

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