Post Marital Depression (tackling it with 7+ tips)

In this article, “ Post Marital Depression” will be discussed by understanding the causes and effect of it, a brief introduction to depression and its clinical features, understand how we can cope up with this depression and in the end, we will address some of the questions that are asked in regards to the topic.

Post Marital depression is real and it is often caused by the following factors:

  • Lack of trust and communication
  • The expectation from family and society
  • Ideological lashes and disagreement
  • Dominance and control 
  • Domestic Violence
  • Excessive guilt
  • Different priorities in life
  • Lack of compromise and sacrifices

Depression

Depression is a mood disorder where the individual experiences prolonged sadness, lethargic, worthiness, helplessness and melancholy that interferes or hampers their daily functioning. 

According to the World Health Organisation (2020), it is one of the most common mental disorders which affects 264 million people from different age groups. 

Unlike the mood swings which we experience normally, depression when it lasts long, it is a serious health condition, in the worst case, might result in suicide as well. The noting symptom is the profound sadness and the inability to experience pleasure, anhedonia. There are also physical symptoms associated; few of them are difficulty in the sleep cycle, psychomotor retardation, loss of appetite and tiredness.

Although there is no proper clinic diagnosis of PostMarriage depression in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual, however, it is very prevalent and common in the newlywed and hitched couple. It typically occurs in the early years of marriage. 

Sign and Symptoms of Depression according to DSM5

According to the guidelines set in DSM 5, the following symptoms should be present in an individual for the same 2 week period along with one symptom of either two: depressed mood and loss of interest, anhedonia.

  • Depressed mood for most days
  • Diminished interest in pleasurable activities
  • Significant weight loss 
  • Disruption in appetite
  • Insomnia and Hypersomnia
  • Psychomotor Agitation
  • Loss of energy and fatigue
  • Diminished ability to think
  • Recurrent thoughts on death and suicide
  • Indecisiveness
  • Excessive guilt
  • Impairment in the social, professional and important area of life.

Post Marital Depression

Post Marital Depression is also called as the Post Wedding Blues which is coined to describe the depression that often occurs among newlyweds, although for a short period of time. Although the experience is common and prevalent in both the gender, women are more likely and susceptible to the experience. 

When the decision for union and staying together for life was made between two people, it is an enormous decision that can bring in both blessings and disappointment. 

This comes as a blend of happiness, pleasure, infinite blessing as well as anger, stiffness, depression and disappointment. Post marriage depression and blue is a common phenomenon and it causes tremendous stress as well as sorry for the couple as well as with the family as a whole.

Do the problems with marriage always result in depression?

Marriage is a significant part of one’s life and it does not always result in sadness, blue and loneliness. There are both highs and lows of marriage and it all depends on the circumstances and problem one faced.

Some of the determinants of depression post-marriage are:

  • Problem with intimacy and getting along well might affect the vulnerability to depression
  • Couples who often get in conflict and clashes are more likely to get depression since the tension and disagreement are a mental as well as a psychological strain for them. 
  • Depression is more likely to happen when there is high marital discord between the couple
  • Women who are already on antidepressant medications are reported to a higher chance of depression and problems associated with it.

There are some of the determinants of marriage problems that might result in post-marriage blues and depression in newlyweds.

How does Depression develop in marriage?

Interaction within the couple that devoids mutual interest and engagement can trigger depression where one of the dup takes the dominant role and the other tends to be submissive.

Other than that, there are other causes of depression in marriage as well as post-marriage:

Violence and Silence

Since post-marital violence is widely distributed and a common occurrence among the couple who are newlywed, it is a leading cause of depression and prolonged sadness. The violence, where women are mostly the victims, let them feel isolated, low and worthless leading to perpetual anxiety and panic.

Losing the agency between the couple

Agency is understood as control over choices and decision making. Post marriage, it is very common where the husband takes the control and is the agency of their relationship coupled with the paternal family. 

This results in severe depression in the women where they tend to feel worthy and lack of control over matters related to both.

Their involvement and interaction are not respected which also makes them feel unsatisfied and worthless.

Ideological clash

Women usually mark and celebrate their wedding as a major and significant event of their life. However, for most of the men it doesn’t mean the same. Thus, the clash in the belief and the ideology about marriage and the post-marriage life can result in severe sadness and blues in the women to be specific.

Excessive expectation from family and society

The beliefs and rituals from the past about marriage place women to be the victim in some cultures where they have to give valuable properties to the groom family, live with the groom’s family and spend the rest of their life with the husband rather than to spend time with their own family. 

While for some women it is manageable and adjustable, there are more who find it challenging and tough to abide by. This can make them more vulnerable to depression and loneliness.

Double guilt

Another reason behind Post Marriage blues and depression especially in women is because of the loop of double guilt where the women are stuck in. It is the guilt of both work life and family life. The association of both the guilt and failing to perform well in both results in excessive guilt, negativity, pessimism and hopelessness.

These are some of the reasons behind PostMarriage blues and depression especially among women while it can also impact men. The major reasons for depression are the clashes between the couple themselves and however, it is also influenced by factors other than the immediate couple such as family, expectation, beliefs and rituals.

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Tackling and coping with Post Marriage Depression

The effects of post-marriage depression can be detrimental for the couple as well as to their immediate family. Since it can take a toll on mental as well as psychological wellbeing of both the individuals, there are certain ways of coping with the depression blues that can help the person to pull through the symptoms of depression.

Planning for the post-honeymoon period too

Keeping a buffer time between the marriage and honeymoon period is needed to avoid all kinds of hassles. Spending quality time with each other can help in knowing each other better and explore each other’s interests.

Communicating

Communication and Interaction are believed to be the key detriment of a healthy relationship. Thus, to prevent the occurrence of post-marriage problems, letting the guard down and sharing everything with each other can help.

Finding a mentor or professional help

The ideal way to cope up with post-marriage blues is to seek professional help and sort out the problem. Rather than living with excessive guilt and intimacy issues between the couple, it is best to seek professional help and understand the underlying causes so that other marriage related problems are fended off.

Discovering new vision

Rather than burdening oneself with excessive guilt and feeling of worthlessness, it is best to find new hopes and focus on the good things that can bring in new life for the person. In the journey of that, one can seek support and help from others too.

Setting goal together

Since marriage is a decision to be one and form a union with each other, one way of combating the post-marriage blues resulted by personality clashes and disagreements, it is best to set a goal together and have a mutual agreement. This can help in bridging a commonality between two and sort all the issues revolving around that.

Compromise

Compromising and letting go of one’s own interest, belief and wishes in certain circumstances can help in landing upon a mutual discussion and agreement. Since marriage is the decision to live together for the next journey, it is sometimes best to let go of one’s own interest in the betterment of two.

Have timeout and break 

Spending time with things you enjoy doing when alone can help in taking a break from marriage life and the problems with it. Accepting one’s self and coming in terms with it can help tackle the feeling of blue and sadness.

Dealing with arguments constructively

It’s not always a common interest in different circumstances when there are arguments coming along, instead of feeling low and stressed out, it is best to deal with it by mutual discussion and let go of disagreements and clashes. When problems are dealt with conversation and interaction of both, it prevents all kinds of stress and other related problems. 

Learning the depressive symptoms and acknowledging it

Rather than isolating oneself and bearing the symptoms all alone, it is a good way to keep the communication channel open to your spouse and discuss it along. 

Recognizing the symptoms and educating about the causes of it can help in effectively dealing it.

Develop an action plan

Since everyone takes care of their own life and is responsible for it, sometimes it is best to deal with depression by developing their own action plan. Sharing each other ‘s needs and help can help to deal with the depressive symptoms and post-marriage blues.

What we recommend for Depression

Professional counselling

If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling could be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.

FAQs: Post Marital Depression

Can your spouse make you depressed?

Yes, not being able to get along with your spouse can result in severe depression. 

Which spouse is more likely to be depressed following a divorce?

Women are more vulnerable to divorce after depression.

What are marriage blues?

It is the feeling of melancholy after marriage and the sinking feeling associated with the marriage when it is over.

What are the signs of a toxic marriage?

Signs of toxic marriage include hostile atmosphere, lack of trust, only take in the relationship, judgement, defensiveness and lack of communications. 

Can you be lonely in a marriage?

Yes, marriage is not always about happiness and blessings, it can be a lonely feeling to some person.

BetterHelp: A Better Alternative

Those who are seeking therapy online may also be interested in BetterHelp. BetterHelp offers plenty of formats of therapy, ranging from live chats, live audio sessions and live video sessions. In addition, unlimited messaging through texting, audio messages and even video messages are available here.

BetterHelp also offers couples therapy and therapy for teenagers in its platform. Furthermore, group sessions can also be found in this platform, covering more than twenty different topics related to mental health and mental illness. The pricing of BetterHelp is also pretty cost-effective, especially considering the fact that the platform offers financial aid to most users.

Conclusion

In this article, “ Post Marital Depression” is discussed by understanding the causes and effect of it, a brief introduction to depression and its clinical features, understanding how we can cope up with this depression and in the end, we addressed some of the questions that are asked in regards to the topic.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/relationships/love-sex/post-wedding-depression-is-real-5-women-share-their-experience/articleshow/72891978.cms

https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/4-kinds-of-depression-indian-women-are-at-risk-of-please-dont-neglect-the-signs/

Bibliography

Bhutani, A. (2018). Post-Marriage Depression: The Under Diagnosed, Untreated Reality. Intersectional Feminism. https://feminisminindia.com/2018/09/17/post-marriage-depression-indian-women/

Connolly, S. (n.d.). Depression and Marriage. Mentalhelp.net. https://www.mentalhelp.net/blogs/depression-and-marriage/

Heitler, S. (2013). How to Prevent Your Marriage From Making You Depressed. Psychology today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/resolution-not-conflict/201303/how-prevent-your-marriage-making-you-depressed

Nizami, A. (2015). 12 ways to deal with Post Marriage Depression. IDIVA. https://www.idiva.com/relationships-love/relationships/12-ways-to-deal-with-post-marriage-depression/photogallery/15081191

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