Post-marriage depression symptoms

11 Post-Marriage Depression Symptoms That Might Surprise You

Writen By: Huma Khan
Reviewed By: Huma Khan
Publish Date: September 23, 2023

The wedding is over, and you enjoyed it well. You lived the best moments of your life these past couple of days. But just when you were supposed to feel happy, why are you not feeling so inwardly? What is bothering you so much? Why do you feel blues every now and then when practically you planned all of it? Why are you not feeling content with your ‘so-Happening Marriage?’

If this is how you feel, and you don’t want to bother your spouse or family, and you are worried about what it could be. Then you should be happy now that you have landed in a very safe space. It is highly likely that you are showing post-marriage depression symptoms, but you never heard about them, so technically, that’s disturbing you.

We will make you aware of the situation going on with you, as you are not the only one being inquisitive about it. Half of the problem is solved when people are given knowledge, information, and insight about their mental health issues. But then there are people who know about post-marriage depression symptoms and even experience them, but they do not have the courage to come up and speak for themselves or to spread awareness for the good of others.

It is so common that, according to a survey held online, nearly 12% of the 152 women who participated in it when engaged and then six months after being married reported an increase in their depression symptoms. The study was published under the name An investigation of relational turbulence and depressive symptoms in newly married women, which took a major stance against depression in married women and proved that it exists.

So do not panic in this situation. We are well aware of what you might be going through, but it is a treatable mental condition, and we are going to give you some coping strategies as opposed to it. Stay calm and low-key until you feel better.

What is Post-Marriage Depression?

Post Marriage Depression, also known as Post Wedding Depression or Post Nuptial Depression, is a condition characterized by feelings of sadness, anxiety, and emotional distress following marriage. It shares similarities with other depressive disorders but is distinct in its onset and context. Unlike clinical depression, which can occur at any time in a person’s life, Post Marriage Depression specifically emerges after the wedding ceremony and the adjustment to married life.

Is Post Marriage Depression a Formal Diagnosis?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) does not officially list post-marriage depression as a separate mental illness. Instead, it is often regarded as a subcategory of adjustment disorders or situational depression, where individuals experience emotional challenges while adapting to a significant life change, such as marriage. While it may not have its own diagnostic classification, the emotional struggles faced by individuals after marriage are real, and seeking support, either through personal networks or mental health professionals, can be beneficial in navigating this transitional period.

Prevalence of Post-Marriage Depression

In 2021, studies show that both men and women may suffer from post-marriage depression, but the prevalence differs by gender.

Post-marriage depression in women

In general, women are more likely than men to suffer from post-marital depression. “Between 20 and 30% of women may go through post-marriage depression at some point in their lives, according to (NIH) research.” Changes in their roles and responsibilities, challenges adjusting to married life, societal standards, and hormonal changes such as prenatal or postpartum depression after childbirth are some of the issues women may experience that cause this.

Post-marriage depression in men

Men can also experience post-marriage depression, even though women may do so more. ” According to a survey, approximately 10–15% of males may have post-marriage depression.” Adapting to new relationship dynamics, financial constraints, and social pressure to adhere to established gender standards are just a few of the difficulties that men may encounter.

It is critical to realize that post-marriage depression can seriously affect men and women, impacting their general happiness, well-being, and relationships. Symptoms of Post-marriage depression can be addressed and overcome with the help of mental health specialists, couples counseling, and open communication within the marriage.

Causes of Post-Marriage Depression

The following is a list of factors that contribute to symptoms of post-marital depression:

1. Loss of Independence and Identity:

Depression after marriage may be brought on by a loss of identity and independence, frequently brought on by the partner’s dominant identity. People can get stressed and restless due to their obligations and expectations and move on to a new version of themselves.

2. Unmet expectations:

Unrealistic marital expectations might cause disillusionment and sadness after the wedding. Romanticized ideals in the media and culture might not represent reality, leading to difficulties in married life. Identifying and dealing with these unrealistic aspirations is essential to preventing post-marriage sadness and raising knowledge of marriage’s complexity.

3. Communication Obstacles:

Communication problems can considerably exacerbate the symptoms of post-marriage depression. People who find it difficult to express their feelings may encounter misunderstandings and disagreements, resulting in emotional isolation. These problems can be made worse by poor interpersonal behaviors like hostility or suppressing emotions. It’s critical to address communication problems and seek medical guidance.

4. Financial Stress:

One of the main reasons for post-wedding depression is financial stress. Financial strain can cause conflict, instability, and sadness in close relationships. Feelings of helplessness and fear might arise when trying to meet financial obligations. Consult a professional, have honest discussions, and have a reasonable budget to lessen stress.

5. Lack of emotional support:

Lack of emotional support often causes depression in marriages, which results in depressive and hopeless emotions. During the wedding, couples could experience difficulties like communication problems and a need for emotional validation. Couples should prioritize psychological support and honest communication to keep their relationship strong.

6. Inequality and Role Conflict:

As people attempt to combine traditional gender ideals with their lives, post-marriage role conflict can cause stress, weariness, and unhappiness. It can also lead to despair and a lack of contentment. A person’s sense of identity and autonomy may be lost due to this struggle, which may also sever their partner from them emotionally. Conflicts between roles and inequality can increase post-marriage depression symptoms if they aren’t tackled and fixed, which harms each person’s mental health and the couple’s total balance.

7. Loss of Romance and Connection:

The absence of intimacy and romance frequently causes sadness after marriage. Loneliness, dissatisfaction, and feelings of rejection might result from this. The situation is made worse by problems like infidelity or sexual satisfaction. It takes facing one’s fears and asking for aid from others to get a back connection.

8. Parental obligations:

Due to lack of sleep, strained relationships, and the responsibility of parenting, parental pressures can make post-marital depression worse. Conflicts over childcare duties and parenting ideologies can make stress worse. Support and open conversations about parenting concerns are necessary for juggling these commitments.

9. Betrayal and Infidelity:

Finding out about a partner’s cheating causes great distress, broken trust, and a strong sense of betrayal. Rejection and dishonesty in a marriage can have a terrible impact on a person’s mental health and may even result in post-marriage depression.

A negative cycle of despair, nervousness, and even post-traumatic stress disorder can be caused by unanswered “why” and “what went wrong” questions. Strong emotional backing, treatment, and a shared dedication from both parties to restore trust and mend the broken relationship are necessary to rebound from the scars of dishonesty.

Post-marriage depression symptoms

Post-Marriage Depression symptoms

Here is a list of symptoms of post-marriage depression:

1. Detachment and distancing from loved ones:

Some people going through post-marriage depression may emotionally distance themselves from their spouse or other family members. They might experience disconnection and difficulty sustaining emotional closeness or participating in discussions with their loved ones.

2. Loss of motivation and interest:

Depression after marriage frequently causes a lack of interest in once-enjoyable hobbies. One may find that hobbies, interests, or activities they once enjoyed, both individually and with their spouse, no longer hold any appeal. This loss of interest can lead to a sense of emptiness.

3. Constant Irritability and Anger:

Individuals with post-marriage depression may have frequent mood swings and irritability that can result in ongoing conflicts with their spouse and other loved ones. These emotional fluctuations strain relationships and create a tense atmosphere at home.

4. Eating and sleeping patterns change:

Changes in appetite and sleeping habits are common among those who are depressed after getting married. They might find it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep, or sleep too much. Similarly, one may have significant changes in eating habits. Emotional eating or a loss of appetite can be manifestations of post-marriage depression.

5. Physical complaints:

Post-marriage depression victims may have physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, tense muscles, and persistent pain. The accumulation of stress and mental anguish frequently causes these signs.

6. Overwhelming sadness:

Feelings of sadness, despair, and hopelessness, even when there is no apparent reason, remain common in post-marriage depression symptoms. In a relationship, there will inevitably be ups and downs, but if the sadness lasts for a long time, it is a warning sign.

7. Self-Esteem Issues:

A drop in self-esteem and self-worth can be noticed. One may feel unloved or unappreciated, despite efforts by the spouse to maintain the relationship. A drop in self-esteem can lead to negative self-perception and increased self-doubt, making it challenging to believe in your own worth.

8. Loss of sexual desire

One typical post-marriage depression symptom is loss of sexual drive, when a person’s interest in or satisfaction with sexual activities significantly decreases. Intimate relationships between couples may be strained, adding to marital discontent or alienation.

9. Thoughts of self-harm or suicide

Extreme thoughts of self-harm or suicide can develop due to post-marriage sadness. If you have such ideas, getting quick assistance from a mental health expert is critical. Keep in mind that support is available to get you through this trying time and that you are not alone.

 10. Increased anxiety and worry

An increase in worry and stress is one of the post-marriage depression symptoms. A person’s mental state, the effect on their relationships, and their capacity to recover from depression may all cause them to feel more anxious than usual. These emotions may make the situation more distressing and encourage a negative cognitive pattern.

11. Thoughts of hopelessness

In post-marriage depression, one may have feelings of hopelessness that make them think their circumstances will never get better. The symptoms could make them seem overwhelming, leaving them to wonder if they will ever experience happiness or reclaim their sense of self. The key to getting over these ideas and discovering hope is to seek out expert assistance.

It is crucial to remember that such signs might differ from person to person. Thus, a mental health expert ought to determine illness. It is advised to get consulting services if you or somebody you’re acquainted with is going through post-marriage depression.

Risk Factors for Post-Marriage Depression

The majority of people do not go through post-marriage depression. However, there are several situations where it is more likely to happen. The following are included in this:

  • The likelihood of post-marriage depression can rise when there is significant persistent conflict, arguments, or unresolved problems inside the marriage. Thoughts of despair or hopelessness might be exacerbated by constant fighting, a lack of interaction, or feeling unappreciated or ignored.
  • Depression can develop due to major life stressors like divorce or separation. Depression symptoms can be exacerbated by the pain and loss of a divorce and the practical and mental challenges of dividing property, housing, and parental duties.
  • Mental health depends on maintaining a solid support network, including family, friends, or therapy services. People might be more likely to experience post-marriage depression symptoms because they don’t have someone to turn to after or during a divorce.
  • Divorce frequently results in monetary adjustments, like asset division, the payment of attorney expenses, or transitioning to a new standard of living. Financial hardship can significantly increase a person’s anxiety and worry, raising their chance of feeling sad.
  • Post-wedding depression can become more common in people with a lack of self-worth or issues with poor self-image. These emotions can become more intense after divorce or separation, resulting in thoughts of disappointment, guilt, or self-pity and worsening depression symptoms.

Preventive Strategies for Post-Wedding Depression

  • Couples can build a strong foundation for their relationship and better understand each other’s expectations by participating in pre-marriage counseling sessions. Discussing potential issues or worries early on can lower the chance of post-marriage depression.
  • Anger or dissatisfaction can be avoided in a marriage through open communication and regular discussion of feelings, expectations, and worries. Open communication may create an environment of understanding and support, which lowers the likelihood of post-nuptial depression symptoms.
  • Self-care and mental health must be prioritized if post-wedding depression is to be avoided. A healthier and happier marriage can be achieved through taking part in stress-relieving activities, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, obtaining guidance or therapy when necessary, and being aware of one’s mental health.
  • Understand that sometimes weddings can be stressful, and not everything will go perfectly. Setting realistic expectations can help reduce disappointment and lower the chances of post-nuptial depression symptoms.
  • Focus on your life together beyond the wedding. Set goals and dreams as a couple to look forward to. Keep the joy alive by celebrating small milestones and creating new traditions as a married couple. Continue nurturing your relationship by spending quality time together and maintaining intimacy.

Treatments for Post-Marriage Depression

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT):

CBT is a popular therapy used to treat post-marriage depression symptoms. It involves recognizing, confronting, and changing bad beliefs and actions with more constructive and practical ones. Patients can elevate their moods, increase their general coping mechanisms, and redefine destructive ideas through this treatment.

Couples counseling

Depression after marriage may result from problems in a partnership or disputes. By offering a secure setting for both spouses to voice their worries and focusing on enhancing interaction, the ability to solve issues, and emotional connection, a couple’s therapy can assist in resolving those issues. A professional counselor can help the couple overcome their difficulties and identify strategies for reestablishing the relationship and general marital pleasure.

Support groups:

When coping with post-marriage depression symptoms, engaging with people experiencing comparable experiences can be immensely beneficial. Frequent support or counseling sessions designed exclusively for those dealing with marital difficulties can give you a feeling of acceptance, community, and useful coping mechanisms for the emotions related to relationship issues.

Treatments based on mindfulness:

Treatment for post-nuptial depression symptoms can benefit from mindfulness training and application. Self-examination meditation and extended breathing exercises can cultivate awareness, lower stress levels, and enhance psychological well-being in general. Additionally, mindfulness can boost one’s capacity for self-acceptance, making it easier for people to deal with the challenges of divorce.

Medication: 

Sometimes, prescribing medication for the post-marriage depression treatment plan may be advised. These drugs (SSRIs), a type of depressive medicine, can help control neurons in the brain and lessen the symptoms of depression. A medical expert should be consulted to ascertain whether a treatment is necessary and to review the medication’s advantages and disadvantages. When combined with counseling, medicines can offer complete assistance for people suffering from post-marriage depression.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the symptoms of post-marriage depression?

Feelings of melancholy, loss of excitement in activities, changes in eating or weight, sleep difficulties, irritability, loneliness, regret, low self-esteem, and trouble concentrating are typical signs of post-marriage depression. In severe cases, one may have suicidal thoughts or attempts to end their life.

Does post-marital depression differ from common depression?

Yes, post-marital depression is a specific form of depression triggered by the stress and life changes associated with marriage. It differs from common depression in its context and onset, often occurring after the wedding. However, the symptoms and treatment methods may overlap with those of common depression.

Can post-marriage depression impact both spouses in a marriage?

Yes, both individuals in a marriage might experience post-marriage depression. The difficulties and adaptations of marriage can affect both people and exacerbate depressive symptoms, even if they seem more frequently connected with one partner.

Is post-marital sadness an indication of a failed marriage?

Only sometimes. Depression after marriage is not necessarily a sign of an unhappy marriage. It is a typical reaction to the significant changes and modifications in one’s life that marriage entails. But if ignored, it can erode the connection. The psychological well-being of the couple and the marriage’s general well-being can be significantly enhanced by obtaining help and resolving the root problems.

Final Words

In conclusion, post-marriage depression affects people after marriage due to the issues faced after the wedding and is a prevalent but frequently ignored issue. Post-marriage depression symptoms include melancholy, anger, a lack of curiosity in activities, changes in eating and sleeping habits, and trouble focusing. 

Various circumstances, including unmet expectations, traumatic life events, problems with communication, or shifting identities and roles, may contribute to these signs. Given that it can significantly affect someone’s overall health and satisfaction in marriage, it is crucial to recognize and treat this illness.

To effectively manage and treat post-marriage depression symptoms, it might prove helpful to seek therapy, keep lines of conversation open with one’s partner, engage in self-care rituals, and cultivate a network of supporters. With the correct help and facilities, individuals may reclaim their emotional and psychological equilibrium and create a successful and happy marriage.