With all the stress of marriage and high rates of divorce some people choose to stay single, but is it increasing your risk of dementia? Marriage can actually have some beneficial factors, such as deflecting depression, reducing stress, and helping people live longer.
Can Marriage Decrease your Risk of Dementia?
Dementia interferes with daily life by decreasing your mental abilities. Unfortunately for singles, Marriage lowers your chance of developing this dreaded disease. Although, divorced people have more than twice the odds for mental decline than married people.
Divorced men have the worst chance of developing dementia with a 2.6 times higher chance. While divorced women have a 30% higher chance of risk than married women.
Being Single Might Not Be Good For Your Health
There are a lot of theories about why marriage might be good for general health:
- Married people are typically financially better off, but there are other factors that play a role. One of them being the social psychology benefit.
- Divorce can lead to financial and emotional stress, which may directly affect mental function. The stress and depression that can come from divorce can potentially lead to dementia.
- It’s all about the part of the brain called the cortex. The cortex evolved as the center of cognitive processing. It manages our level of functioning. If it falls below the level of normal functioning, that’s when dementia happens.
Singles May Lack a Close Social Network
Emotional support is key to preventing dementia. Married people find their social network through their spouse, their friends and family, their sense of belonging. Being married increases social integration, which promotes cognitive health.
Married people have a lower risk of dementia because they’re constantly interacting with each other, negotiating and relating, and that keeps the cortex engaged.
Divorced and Single Men Might Have Higher Chances of Dementia
There are many factors that can make a man more vulnerable to divorce and overall more vulnerable to dementia. Stress may help explain why divorced men are at such a loss when their marriage ends. They may be more at risk than unmarried men because they have been through a divorce that creates stress.
It’s not that marriage doesn’t also include stress, but the bonus of having connections, a network, might sometimes minimize the risk. Men seek more health benefits from their marriage, leaning on their wives for emotional support. Men tend to get more benefit from the relationship, but once they’re divorced, they lose all that.
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