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.