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Mental health concerns worth special attention in divorce

There are some who hold to the tenet of marriage as hallowed institution. Divorce for them represents a tear in the social fabric. What that fails to recognize is just how common divorce has become. In some cases, it may be essential or the well-being of everyone concerned. This may be particularly true where mental health issues are a factor.

Those experienced in Texas divorce understand that the process can be fraught with emotion. Even an amicable dissolution has moments of tension. If one of the parties in divorce has mental health issues, special sensitivity and handling may be required.

The scope of possible problems can be broad. Perhaps one or both of the spouses have history of treatment for depression. Maybe there is addiction to be concerned about. It could be that the problem isn't so much a diagnosed mental illness as a serious personality disorder. Whatever the concern, awareness is likely to be key to achieving an optimal outcome.

Experts generally agree on the common personality disorders and some that specifically have a way of surfacing due to emotional triggers. Following are few that some observers say warrant special focus in the context of divorce.

  • Borderline personality disorder: According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5), signs of BPD include acting impulsively, significant mood swings and displays of intense anger.
  • Histrionic personality disorder: Individuals with this condition tend to be overly dramatic, displaying a need for attention that might include inappropriate behavior. They often come off as shallow and show disregard for rules and processes.
  • Antisocial personality disorder: APD has been shown to be more common in men than in women. Those with this condition may be more likely to be linked to criminal activity. Characteristics often include a tendency to try to manipulate others through lies or provocation.
  • Narcissistic personality disorder: This, too, is considered more common in men than women. It's characterized by a need for attention and displays of victimization if they don't get the attention they feel they deserve. In another form, the person may display a sense of grandiosity and lack of compassion for others.

Whether a divorcing person suffers from a mental health condition or could become the victim of one, he or she deserves to have their interests represented and their rights protected

Source: NWLawyer, "Disorder in Family Court," Anthony Zorich, accessed July 26, 2016

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