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Can divorce stress prematurely age your brain?

If you're going through a divorce, you know how stressful it can be. Not only are you dealing with the emotional stresses involved with separating from a romantic partner and changing your daily life and routines, but you're dealing with financial stresses.

A recent study shows just how badly these stresses can take their toll. A group of Wisconsin University medical researchers showed that stressful life events can prematurely age the brain. In the case of a typical stressful divorce, a brain could suffer from rapid aging.

The most stressful life experiences that can age the brain

Some of the most stressful life experiences covered by the study include:

  • Being raised by an alcohol- or drug-abusing parent;
  • Losing a job;
  • Suffering the death of a child; and
  • Divorce.

These experiences could be associated with poor cognitive abilities later on in life. Areas of cognition that stress affects include:

  • Verbal learning and memory;
  • Immediate memory;
  • Visual learning and memory; and
  • Story recall.

On average, each of these stressful events can result in the aging of the brain by four years -- a fact that researchers showed to be particularly true for African Americans. Researchers are now looking at the issue deeper to determine if stressful events could also have a link to an increased chance of contracting Alzheimer's disease, dementia and other serious diseases that result in cognitive decline later in life.

What the study does seem to point to, however, is that stress plays a key role in hurting our bodies and minds in a significant way.

More reason to seek a diplomatic divorce

Considering the negative effects that stressful events like divorce can have on brain health, California spouses planning to divorce may want to go their separate ways in the most peaceful way possible.

Fortunately, there are many modern methodologies for bringing a divorce to a close in a diplomatic and peaceful fashion. One of the most noteworthy among these options is divorce mediation. Through divorce mediation, couples can work out their differences and arrive at a divorce agreement quickly, cost effectively and peacefully.

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