August 3rd, 2009
06:15 PM ET
Fighting divorce: An endemic public health crisis
By Akash Goel
New research contradicts the age-old adage, "'Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all."
A study, “Marital Biography and Health at Mid-Life” appearing in the September issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior found that the middle-aged divorced or widowed have 20 percent more chronic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes and 23 percent more mobility limitations such as difficulty climbing stairs.
While it may seem odd to think of it as such, divorce can be viewed as a public health crisis with national rates estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be nearly 50 percent nationally.
A large field of research suggests that people who are in close, social relationships are healthier. When marriages are functional, they are perhaps the ideal form of social and emotional support. When marriages fail, however, these mental health bedrocks crumble (among other parts of your life.)
Kristi Williams, a professor of sociology at Ohio State University, believes changes in societal perceptions of the idea of marriage are influencing rising divorce rates.
"We've come to view marriage as a source of individual satisfaction whereas in the past marriage was viewed largely as an institution that was necessary in order to raise a family," she says. "When that goes away, it is much easier to dissolve the marriage."
Tal Ben-Shahar, positive psychologist and former Harvard professor, argues instead that we're philosophically less committed to relationships.
"In the past, people stayed together even when they were not happy together — for religious reasons, because of convention, or because they had no real choice," he says, "Today, both men and women have more choice, and it’s more acceptable to divorce — hence easier. And when they face challenges in their relationships, instead of dealing with these challenges, they opt to leave."
Williams suggests that many studies have linked poor marriage quality to poor health outcomes, and thus improving marriage quality should be a worthy public health pursuit.
One example of this is the Department of Health and Human Services’ support of the “Healthy Marriage Initiative,” which provides $150 million each year towards relationship education to help strengthen families.
However on an individual level, one of the most important things we can do to ensure a successful marriage according to Ben Shahar, is learn how to handle gridlock: a term coined by sex therapist David Schnarch that refers to the point at which couples feel stuck in a conflict surrounding issues of children, in-laws, money, or sex and see no way out. While gridlock is often the tipping point leading to divorce, Schnarch believes we should embrace these "the drive wheels and grind stones of intimate relationships" as essential stepping stones towards realizing a successful marriage.
"Marriage operates at much greater intensity and pressure than we expect," Schnarch writes, "so great, in fact, couples mistakenly assume it’s time for divorce when it’s really time to get to work.”
Have you been through a divorce? Did you feel unhealthy as result?
Editor’s Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.
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Cop Who Kneeled on George Floyd 'Tried to end Me' in 2008
Courtesy Ira Latrell TolesIra Latrell Toles didn't immediately recognize minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin in the now viral video of him holding his knee on George Floyd's neck as the handcuffed black man repeatedly told him he couldn't breathe.But when news outlets labeled the officers involved, Toles, 33, Realized the man with regard to Floyd's death was the same police officer who barged into his home and beat him up in the bathroom before shooting him in the stomach 12 years earlier while responding to a domestic violence call,The officer that killed that guy might be the brains behind shot me, Toles texted his sister on tuesday night, based on messages shared with The Daily Beast. "They said his last name and i believe it was him,truly him, His sister automatically replied.On the following thursday, Chauvin was one of four officers fired for his direction in Floyd's death, Which has sparked protests across the country and calls for a federal hate crime investigation. Local outlets reported that Chauvin was the officer who knelt Charmdate.com on Floyd's neck for a few minutes as the 46 year old pleaded, "I'm around to die, Floyd had no pulse when he was finally combined with an ambulance.'Burn It up. allowed them to Pay': Deadly Chaos Erupts in minneapolis as Fires Rage Over Police Violenceontario Mayor Jacob Frey on Wednesday called for Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman to arrest and charge Chauvin with Floyd's death. "Why is the person who killed George Floyd not in jail? if you had done it, Or I tried it, We would be behind bars at the moment, Frey said in a news meeting.Toles believes that Floyd's horrific death happens to be prevented if Chauvin was properly punished for his violent arrest in May 2008. He said that while he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge and still suffers pain from the bullet hole in his lower stomach Chauvin continued his career at the Minneapolis Police Department with nothing more than a slap on the wrist. The 911 operator could hear a woman yelling for an individual to stop hitting her, Local media reported during the time.Toles, Who ended up being 21, Admits that mom of his child called the cops on him that night, But he was surprised when several officers showed up without announcing their loved ones,When I saw that he breached the gate, I ran in the toilet, Toles told The consistent Beast. "and also Starts quitting in that door. I was in the laundry with a cigarette and no lighter,The 33 year old said that Chauvin broke into the bathroom and started to hit him without warning. Toles said he delivered blows to the officer because "My natural a reaction to someone hitting me is to stop them from hitting me,All I could do is assume it was the police this is because didn't announce themselves or ever give me a command, he was quoted saying. "I didn't know what to think when using the hitting me. I swear he was hitting me when using the gun,based on local news reports, Chauvin shot and wounded Toles after gun reached for an officer's gun. Toles said he doesn't please remember being shot just "Being walked with apartment until I collapsed in the main entrance where I was left to bleed until the paramedics came,i recall my baby mother screaming and crying also, He put on.Toles was taken to Hennepin County facility, Where he said he stayed for three days. high, He learned Chauvin had shot him at such close range that the bullet went through his groin and came out his left butt cheek before hitting the bathroom wall. The ended, he said, made a hole that "Never seriously closed" And is so large he can continue to stick a finger inside.Once he was launched from the hospital, Toles said he was taken instantly to court, Where he was arrested for two felony counts of obstructing legal process or arrest and a misdemeanor count of domestic assault,I would assume my reaction normally try to stop him from hitting me. If his first reaction was hitting me in the face that means I can't see and I'm too disoriented to first locate his gun and then take it from him and for what, Toles being said. "To turn a misdemeanor disorderly situation into a felony situation that could have ended in me dying? He experimented with kill me in that bathroom,Toles said he only spent a day or two in jail where he was denied pain pills for the charges before he was published. weeks later, He said he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for a deal.Chauvin and the other officers involved were put on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into the shooting a standard procedure for the Minneapolis Police Department but were later placed back into the field,I knew he would take steps again, Toles claims. "I wish we had smartphones on the market back then,The Minneapolis Police Department did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast's request for comment.Chauvin, 44, Is one of four officers who responded to a suspected "Forgery in steps" On Monday night and additionally Thomas Lane, t Alexander Kueng, and so Tou Thao.in the gut wrenching, 10 minute video taped by a bystander, Chauvin is seen driving his knee on Floyd's neck while Thao stands guard, wanting to keep upset bystanders at bay,impress, do, keep happy, i will not breathe. choose, executive, Floyd says in the footage that does not show the beginning of the arrest. "I'm going to die, he states.A new york Fire Department report said Floyd did not have a pulse when he was loaded into an ambulance. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital soon after in what police described as a "Medical event.
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