Fairy tales often end with the two couples in love living blissfully together – regardless of everything the wicked witch had orchestrated to deny them any happiness. But in real life, after a couple’s marriage, is it really “happier ever after”? Take the case of Jenny (not her real name), a woman who suffered from a disorder when in the transition between depression and hypomania made an effort to be warm and friendly, but at best the impression she created was of mild remoteness. After seven years of marriage to her husband Dan, she suspected that her husband was having an affair with another woman.She did not want to lose her family, so she did not apprehend him.
Anyway, Jenny rationalized that Dan is a good father and husband. Then unknown to her, changes within her began to set in. She began to speak a bit rapidly, as if she were afraid of not having enough time to get out her thoughts, and exhibited the typical hypomanic tendency (found in many normals as well) to jump from thought to thought without bothering with all the logical connections and to ignore time frame in narrating events. She is usually tense and irritable.She is unable to enjoy herself, as her peace of mind was continually threatened by an unruly conscience and by obsessive worry, both of which prompted her to annoy her friends by repetitively posing such difficult-to-answer questions as "Will my marriage work out? " and her therapist by repetitively asking whether this was or was not the right time to stop treatment. It turned out that all Jenny’s suspicion was not true and Dan was really concerned about her wife’s snowballing depression.
Another case of a husband, John (not his real name). He is a therapy patient who vicariously took in the depression of his wife, Cassandra.Theirs was a happy marriage, until their only son has been hit by a car and died at the age of eight. Cassandra was blaming herself of the unfortunate accident that their child met.
She refused to eat, became irritable and was always caught crying. John has been much concerned about his wife’s condition. He is afraid that he himself is now depressed about losing his wife too. It is fact that in Western culture, marriage seems to provide a protective effect for men but is a stressor for women. Contrary to popular opinion, studies tend to show that married women experience more depression than do single women.The National Mental Health Association reports that depression is more common among women who stay home full-time with their small children than among women in the general population (Ainsworth, 2000, p.
30). Depression of a spouse is crucial in the married life of a couple. When the couple approaches raising a child as a joint project in which each parent needs to bond with the child and play a crucial role in child care, the novelty of the experience has the potential to make the couple feel satisfied and fulfilled like no other. When a spouse is depressed, they could not function well as an individual.At the start of marriage, depression is inevitable, especially when a wife just had a baby. There are some studies that support the view that new mothers with the most supportive husbands have fewer problems during pregnancy and less postpartum depression.
Couples who are most happily married share more in parenting. Mothers may take care of children regardless of the quality of their marriage, but the better the husband-wife relationship is, the more fathers participate in child care. What emerges is a picture of a circular process.A better marital relationship leads to a father being more involved in child care, which leads, in turn, to a better marital relationship. Obviously, there can be a vicious circle in the other direction that leads to increasing disengagement (Schwartz & Olds, 2000, p. 63).
Mostly, the middle years of marriage are often shaped by unexpected transitions that impinge on most people's lives. Just as in chess, the middle game is harder to characterize than openings or endings. Typical surprises might include the illness of a close relative, a period of unemployment, or a return to school by one spouse to prepare for a career change.Any of these transitions can quickly escalate into a crisis. An illness can progress to death or disability. A job loss can turn into an extended period of unemployment, with depression complicating the picture.
Even a mother's return to paid work after staying at home with young children can assume crisis proportions because it changes almost every aspect of a family's functioning. Not only limited to married couples, depression has become a burgeoning problem that seeps undetected among us. According to a major manufacturer of antidepressants, Organon Inc. of West Orange, N.
J., ten percent of American adults – more than 17,000,000 people – suffer from major depressive illness every year.Depression is twice as prevalent among females as males, according to the U. S.
Agency for Health Care Policy and Research. It is estimated that as many as 25% of women will experience depression at some point in their lives. Research indicates that just one-third of those with major depression will get proper treatment. Left untreated, an episode of depression can last for months, years, or a lifetime.
Moreover, two-thirds of those with any kind of affective disorder who do receive treatment will be misdiagnosed.