Huge increase in 'post-nuptial depression' as newlyweds turn to therapists for help
Huge increase in 'post-nuptial depression' as newlyweds turn to therapists for help with bridal blues
By Barry Wigmore
24 November 2008
The wedding’s over, so is the honeymoon. Now modern couples face a new hurdle to wedded bliss.
The expectations of newlyweds are so high, and married life is such a let-down after all the planning and the excitement of the big day that an increasing number of brides are suffering from post-nuptial depression, say American doctors.
In fact, the feel-good factor fades so fast that up to 10 per cent of America’s 2.3million couples who marry every year - that’s 230,000 couples - suffer strong enough remorse, sadness or frustration to make them seek professional counselling, said California therapists.
Experts said the post-nuptial blues could hit a similar proportion of Britain’s annual 275,000 new brides.
San Francisco psychologist Dr. Michelle Gannon, who conducts a weekend be-prepared-for-marriage workshop, said the number of couples enrolling has risen recently because the blues take hold earlier in married life as newlyweds recognise that they had unrealistic dreams.
Dr Gannon said she had also noticed increasing numbers of young brides looking for answers on marriage guidance websites.
Dr Terry Eagan, medical director of the Moonview Sanctuary in Santa Monica, California, calls post-wedding depression the secret sadness because women who suffer from it are often too embarrassed to tell anyone, while men simply bottle-up their feelings.
Dr Gannon told Time magazine that newly married couples need a reality check. Many couples think it’s a disaster when they start arguing about sex, money, or the amount of time they spend together.
But Dr Gannon said: ‘I tell them, “Where did you get the idea that you weren't supposed to fight?" You are. It's normal.
'It's also normal to remain independent and to be responsible for your own happiness. It's unreasonable to assume your partner is going to be everything to you.’
Even couples who live together before marrying suffer from similar attacks of the blues.
Dr Gannon said: ‘There's no magical transformation that comes with signing a marriage certificate. In fact, if anything changes, it might be the couples' biology, which may only worsen post-wedding blues.'
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