Marriage Fixes Everything

Except no, not really:

On average, controlling for differences in depression, subjects who had gotten married over the five-year span between the two interviews reported improved psychological well-being in the second interview–scoring an average of 3.42 points lower on the 84-point depression scale–than their counterparts who did not marry.

When they teased apart how marriage affected those who had been depressed at the start of the study to those who had been happy, however, they came across something unexpected. The depressed who married scored an average of 7.56 points lower on the depression scale than the depressed who did not marry, while those who were happy and got married scored only 1.87 points lower on the scale.

In other words, marriage provided a much bigger psychological boost to the depressed subjects than to the happy subjects.

“We were surprised,” Frech told LiveScience. “We expected the depressed to have worse marital quality and therefore benefit less from a transition into marriage.”

I hate, hate, hatey-hate the article’s headline and lead:

New Depression Rx: Get Married

People who are looking to ease depression may have a new treatment option — marriage.

Marriage is not a way to fix your life. Marriage is not a solution. Marriage is not magic.

Am I happier married and depressed than I would be single and depressed? Absolutely. I have someone to remind me to take my pills when I forget and shove me out of bed when I don’t want to get up and hug me when I’m sad and nag me to see the doctor on a regular basis and listen to my complaining and forgive my meltdowns and just plain cheer me up a bit.

But this doesn’t mean that marriage has helped me be less depressed. It means my husband has helped me be less depressed. If I was married to an asshole, it wouldn’t matter that I was married, I’d still be alone and depressed. And if I wasn’t married, but had people who could fulfill those roles, the roles of members of a support system, I’d be better off with them than without.

New depression Rx. Good Lord.

A.

7 thoughts on “Marriage Fixes Everything

  1. r@d@r says:

    my own unscientific research indicates that, if you have at least a high school education or more, and average to above-average reading comprehension, that reading yahoo! news can make you depressed, and if you are already depressed, it can make you even more depressed.
    yahoo! news is to aggregators what time and newsweek are to print media. they have an uncanny ability to sift teh st00pit out of the trackless ocean of available news stories.

  2. Marco says:

    Marriage as a cure for dpression? You could have fooled me.

  3. oyster says:

    Getting married doesn’t cure depression. But getting married and having a baby will!
    Right?

  4. slim says:

    I few months after we got married, my husband said, “I thought marriage would be more blissful.”
    We were (and are) very happy, but somehow he thought marriage would smooth out life’s ups-and-downs more than living together did, that it was some sort of miracle cure. (Having grown up with one parent with narcissistic personality disorder, I knew better.)
    Knowing you have a commitment is great; it helps get you through the rough spots, when your spouse’s idiosyncratic habits are driving you nuts, or you just can’t seem to agree on anything from disciplining the kid to what tile to put in the bathroom.
    But marriage is not an Rx for anything. And with a crazy, mean or selfish partner, the treatment would be worse than the disease.

  5. dan mcenroe says:

    Clinically depressed people are often codependent as well. Glad LiveScience has told them that’s a good thing after all.

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