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Depression in married couples: Causes, symptoms, treatment

  • Posted on- Mar 28, 2015
  • 2010 Views

Depression is a mental state which can have negative impact on both the partners in a marriage. In India, many people are diagnosed with depression each year. Surprisingly, number of women is more than men when it comes to diagnosis of depression. Dealing with depression becomes extremely difficult, when one is married. Not only does it affect the person but also other family members.

People suffering from depression often feel isolated and have difficulty approaching for help. Being in a marriage where one partner suffers from depression can be somewhat confusing for the other. The non-depressed partner may feel agitated or frustrated by others' behavioural changes. Depression can have a bad effect on marriage with an increase in marital unhappiness which can lead to poor married life.

It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between common marital problems and depression. What looks like a marriage problem may be a sign of depression. Marriages in which one partner has untreated depression will definitely have an increase in marital agony. When depression dominates marriage there is an absence of feelings, love and intimacy.

Becoming knowledgeable about depression and treatments is important for any couple suffering from the sickness. Depression can be classified into three categories:

  • Major Depression: A blend of symptoms that prevents from work, sleep, enjoying activities and maintain relationships for a particular time frame. Generally, major depression is a one-time happening but often experienced occasionally throughout lifetime. 
  • Dysthymia: Also known as neurotic or chronic depression, it lasts more than two years.  
  • Bi-polar disorder: Described as manic-depressive illness, it leads to severe highs, lows and cycling mood changes.

Males and females show different signs of depression. They are: Depression in Men- Fatigue, Irritability, Loss of interest in activities, Sleep disturbances, Additional risk due to drug and alcohol abuse. Depression in Women- Sadness, Feelings of Guilt and Worthlessness, Hormonal Post-partum Depression, Hormonal Premenstrual syndrome, Additional risk due to Transitional Menopause.

Causes of depression in Married couples

There are different causes of depression. There is enough scientific evidence to support that depression is caused by an imbalance in brain chemistry that affects the functionality of neurotransmitters. Psychiatrists have found insufficient levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in patients suffering from depression. Trauma, loss of a loved one or other negative occurrences along with genetic predisposition has been associated with the signs of depression. Many mental health practitioners are of the belief that childhood loss may be a reason behind depression in adults.

Treatment of depression in Married couple

Common treatments of depression are psychotherapy and anti-depressant medications. Anti-depressants like effexor, celexa, Zoloft and Prozac can be effective but with uncomfortable side-effects. Medication can restore the balance in neurotransmitters. Conventional treatment such as herbal remedies and acupuncture are also beneficial.

Depression is an illness that can wreak havoc on a marriage. Couples can communicate better to overcome the odds of depression. A number of resources are available for couples to trounce depression in their marital relationship. A couple can work together to save their marriage from the ill-effects of depression.