Depression Among Married Couples

Why Are Women More Depressed?

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Dr Sumi Saidullah I am a Psychologist and a Researcher. I live with my family in Amnoo, Kulgam. I have conducted multiple researches. I researched Anxiety Among Flood Victims Of 2015. I researched Personality and Creativity Among Gifted Students. I also conducted researches on Depression Among Married Couples, Psychological Disorders in Married Women, Occupational Stress Among Govt and Private School Teachers, Mental Health Issues among Adolescents of J and K etc. For the past four years, I have served as District Coordinator for SFS (Student for Seva). I've always thought that I should write about my researches on any platform for the good of my society and to empower women. The sadness of people moves me. Hence my research as a Psychologist has been focused on Psychological Disturbances (Disorders) such as Anxiety, Stress, Depression, OCD, Personality Issues, Suicide, Mental Health problems etc, among others. If we look closely around us, we will notice that several people are suffering from one or more psychiatric disorders. Why I Decided To Study Depression Among Married Couples I remember the time when I had gone to the court for some personal work. As I was waiting for my turn, I heard a group of advocates discussing divorce cases. I joined the group for discussion. After much discussion, we concluded that psychological disturbance and depression is one of the causes of divorce. Subsequently I decided to explore this subject as the focus of my next research. I travelled to meet numerous communities in my district to gather information. After gathering data, I was astonished to discover that women are more depressed than married males. I discovered that 6% of married women experience normal depression. 22% of married women suffer from minor mood disturbance depression. Borderline clinical depression affects 23% of married women. 32% of married women suffer from moderate depression. 13% of married women suffer from severe depression It is not good that 13% of females suffer from Severe Depression. And it's getting worse by the day. Following my analyses, I attempt to determine the cause of this psychological problem. We are all aware that marriage is the most significant and beautiful aspect of our lives. But after seeing this, I'm not sure whether it's a lovely aspect of life or a hardship for women. I take up my pen and begin writing on the challenges that a woman faces after marriage. When Women Find Their Work Devalued Women who become housewives and mothers often find that their responsibilities and their work are devalued by society. Women who work outside the home may face discrimination and workplace inequalities. They may also face conflicts between their roles as a wife and mother, and as a working woman. Women employ a more emotional, ruminative coping strategy to help them forget about their troubles. Women have more stressful life events and must be more aware of them throughout their lives. Most working women have felt frustrated by their inability to strike a balance between domestic responsibilities and professional obligations. This double guilt sometimes leads to a loss of confidence in one's own capacity to efficiently manage these daily activities. When children enter the scene, the vicious cycle becomes even more virulent. A woman's mental health can suffer as a result of her (actual or perceived) incapacity to supervise home duties, ensure that her children are not neglected, and be in the zone at work. Deep feelings of shame, helplessness and pessimism are the most typical symptoms of post-marriage depression. When women shift to the residence of her husband and parents in law after marriage, the separation anxiety caused by leaving their own home can be severe. Following the demands of the husband’s house may appear natural to the man in the months following the wedding. But a woman may find the work heavy, and may perceive a lack of support from her spouse. After the wedding, a husband's behaviour toward his wife may change. She may see a whole different side of him. If the change is negative and is coupled with anger issues, this could lead to emotions of desertion. Domestic violence, whether verbal, physical, emotional, or sexual, is a major cause of depression. It has a significant impact on mental health and quality of life. Domestic violence and depression have a strong link. Dilemma Of A Working Woman One of my friends told me that it is difficult to integrate into a new family and become a part of the new home. She is a working woman and has a government job, but her parents in law and her husband have told her to quit her job. We know how highly a government job is ranked throughout India. Same is the case with Kashmir. My friend feels that her job is her anchor for life. She doesn’t want to leave it. All these conflicting emotions in her mind are taking a mental toll on her. Before marriage, she was looking forward to a happy and bright future. Now she is in depression. During my research, many women revealed that they tend to lose agency over their own judgments and choices after marriage. In many circumstances, the husband and his family have more power over a woman. This marks the transition from independence to a form of co-dependence. This includes but is not limited to new responsibilities under the 'watchful' eyes of her parents in law, particularly in a joint family set-up. Consequently, a woman may not have enough time to engage in pursuits that interest them—when there is a loss of agency, some women may gradually slip into a depressed state accompanied by anxiety. In severe cases, a woman may be reduced to total dependence. A Newly-Wed Friend Told Me Not To Marry One of my close friends from Kulgam recently got married. We met after about a month. I asked her, “Tell me about your married life.” I was shocked by the response of a newly-wed woman. She advised me not to get married. She told me, “Single life is preferable. I wanted to remain single and had proposed the same to my parents. My other married friends and relatives had also advised me not to marry. But…” After hearing all of this from a newly-married friend, I became terrified. I have chosen not to marry because I cannot risk my future. I cannot sacrifice my ambitions for marriage. I believe that there is little likelihood of a bright future following marriage. I know that many women are happy after marriage. They have a loving and caring husband, and also beautiful, loving and caring children. But I feel scared when I hear the negative aspect. I know a lady in Baramulla. She is in her mid-30s and has two little children. Her mother-in-law, sister-in-law, husband – all are caring and loving. She also loves her family, but she feels that a woman has to sacrifice all her ambitions if she chooses to get married. “I wanted to do so many things but I could not,” she told me. I also feel scared that many women say that daughters-in-law are considered as no-salary servants in the house. Case Of Severe Wife Beating Such Incidents Scare Unmarried Girls I recently read in the newspaper that a case of domestic abuse had been registered at the Kulgam police station. The woman had been severely beaten by her husband. The injured woman was taken to District Hospital Kulgam for treatment. The video of the hapless woman was posted on social media. Later, her husband was detained by the police. Is this the way to treat a woman? Is this what we mean by women's empowerment? There is seldom a day when an incidence of domestic violence does not occur. This is the reason so many young girls feel scared and do not want to get married. They do not want to undergo the pain that they see other women undergoing. There are happy marriages and happy couples also. But so many girls get scared when they come to know of domestic abuse and suffering. I have observed that many women experience domestic abuse but they remain silent out of respect for their loved ones, particularly their parents. Some believe that they will be blamed for the domestic abuse and their honour will be destroyed. They accept everything in silence. But sadly, such women who keep their pain bottled up lead a life of depression. It is important to make the victims talk about their problems so that they can find a release. Why should a woman have to endure suffering for her family and dignity? Everyone seems to be talking about women empowerment. But as long as our women continue to suffer, this talk doesn’t seem real. There are several more issues that need to be addressed. I will try to address them in a future edition. About The Author Dr Sumi Saidullah I have done PG in Counselling Psychology from IGNOU. I did Masters of Philosophy (MPhil) and PhD in Psychology from Bhagwant University, Ajmer, Rajasthan. I am positive about every aspect of life. There are many things I like to do, to see, to experience and explore. I like to read, write; I like to talk and listen to others. So many things…

Dr Sumi Saidullah

I am a Psychologist and a Researcher. I live with my family in Amnoo, Kulgam.

I have conducted multiple researches. I researched Anxiety Among Flood Victims Of 2015. I researched Personality and Creativity Among Gifted Students. I also conducted researches on Depression Among Married Couples, Psychological Disorders in Married Women, Occupational Stress Among Govt and Private School Teachers, Mental Health Issues among Adolescents of J and K etc.

For the past four years, I have served as District Coordinator for SFS (Student for Seva).

I’ve always thought that I should write about my researches on any platform for the good of my society and to empower women. The sadness of people moves me. Hence my research as a Psychologist has been focused on Psychological Disturbances (Disorders) such as Anxiety, Stress, Depression, OCD, Personality Issues, Suicide, Mental Health problems etc, among others. If we look closely around us, we will notice that several people are suffering from one or more psychiatric disorders.

Why I Decided To Study Depression Among Married Couples

I remember the time when I had gone to the court for some personal work. As I was waiting for my turn, I heard a group of advocates discussing divorce cases. I joined the group for discussion.

After much discussion, we concluded that psychological disturbance and depression is one of the causes of divorce. Subsequently I decided to explore this subject as the focus of my next research.

I travelled to meet numerous communities in my district to gather information. After gathering data, I was astonished to discover that women are more depressed than married males.

I discovered that 6% of married women experience normal depression. 22% of married women suffer from minor mood disturbance depression. Borderline clinical depression affects 23% of married women. 32% of married women suffer from moderate depression. 13% of married women suffer from severe depression

It is not good that 13% of females suffer from Severe Depression. And it’s getting worse by the day. Following my analyses, I attempt to determine the cause of this psychological problem.

We are all aware that marriage is the most significant and beautiful aspect of our lives. But after seeing this, I’m not sure whether it’s a lovely aspect of life or a hardship for women. I take up my pen and begin writing on the challenges that a woman faces after marriage.

When Women Find Their Work Devalued

Women who become housewives and mothers often find that their responsibilities and their work are devalued by society. Women who work outside the home may face discrimination and workplace inequalities. They may also face conflicts between their roles as a wife and mother, and as a working woman.

Women employ a more emotional, ruminative coping strategy to help them forget about their troubles. Women have more stressful life events and must be more aware of them throughout their lives.

Most working women have felt frustrated by their inability to strike a balance between domestic responsibilities and professional obligations. This double guilt sometimes leads to a loss of confidence in one’s own capacity to efficiently manage these daily activities.

When children enter the scene, the vicious cycle becomes even more virulent. A woman’s mental health can suffer as a result of her (actual or perceived) incapacity to supervise home duties, ensure that her children are not neglected, and be in the zone at work.

Deep feelings of shame, helplessness and pessimism are the most typical symptoms of post-marriage depression. When women shift to the residence of her husband and parents in law after marriage, the separation anxiety caused by leaving their own home can be severe.

Following the demands of the husband’s house may appear natural to the man in the months following the wedding. But a woman may find the work heavy, and may perceive a lack of support from her spouse. After the wedding, a husband’s behaviour toward his wife may change. She may see a whole different side of him. If the change is negative and is coupled with anger issues, this could lead to emotions of desertion.

Domestic violence, whether verbal, physical, emotional, or sexual, is a major cause of depression. It has a significant impact on mental health and quality of life. Domestic violence and depression have a strong link.

Dilemma Of A Working Woman

One of my friends told me that it is difficult to integrate into a new family and become a part of the new home. She is a working woman and has a government job, but her parents in law and her husband have told her to quit her job.

We know how highly a government job is ranked throughout India. Same is the case with Kashmir. My friend feels that her job is her anchor for life. She doesn’t want to leave it. All these conflicting emotions in her mind are taking a mental toll on her. Before marriage, she was looking forward to a happy and bright future. Now she is in depression.

During my research, many women revealed that they tend to lose agency over their own judgments and choices after marriage. In many circumstances, the husband and his family have more power over a woman. This marks the transition from independence to a form of co-dependence. This includes but is not limited to new responsibilities under the ‘watchful’ eyes of her parents in law, particularly in a joint family set-up. Consequently, a woman may not have enough time to engage in pursuits that interest them—when there is a loss of agency, some women may gradually slip into a depressed state accompanied by anxiety. In severe cases, a woman may be reduced to total dependence.

A Newly-Wed Friend Told Me Not To Marry

One of my close friends from Kulgam recently got married. We met after about a month. I asked her, “Tell me about your married life.” I was shocked by the response of a newly-wed woman. She advised me not to get married. She told me, “Single life is preferable. I wanted to remain single and had proposed the same to my parents. My other married friends and relatives had also advised me not to marry. But…”

After hearing all of this from a newly-married friend, I became terrified. I have chosen not to marry because I cannot risk my future. I cannot sacrifice my ambitions for marriage. I believe that there is little likelihood of a bright future following marriage.

I know that many women are happy after marriage. They have a loving and caring husband, and also beautiful, loving and caring children. But I feel scared when I hear the negative aspect.

I know a lady in Baramulla. She is in her mid-30s and has two little children. Her mother-in-law, sister-in-law, husband – all are caring and loving. She also loves her family, but she feels that a woman has to sacrifice all her ambitions if she chooses to get married. “I wanted to do so many things but I could not,” she told me. I also feel scared that many women say that daughters-in-law are considered as no-salary servants in the house.

Case Of Severe Wife Beating

Such Incidents Scare Unmarried Girls

I recently read in the newspaper that a case of domestic abuse had been registered at the Kulgam police station. The woman had been severely beaten by her husband. The injured woman was taken to District Hospital Kulgam for treatment. The video of the hapless woman was posted on social media. Later, her husband was detained by the police.

Is this the way to treat a woman? Is this what we mean by women’s empowerment? There is seldom a day when an incidence of domestic violence does not occur. This is the reason so many young girls feel scared and do not want to get married. They do not want to undergo the pain that they see other women undergoing. There are happy marriages and happy couples also. But so many girls get scared when they come to know of domestic abuse and suffering.

I have observed that many women experience domestic abuse but they remain silent out of respect for their loved ones, particularly their parents. Some believe that they will be blamed for the domestic abuse and their honour will be destroyed. They accept everything in silence.

But sadly, such women who keep their pain bottled up lead a life of depression. It is important to make the victims talk about their problems so that they can find a release. Why should a woman have to endure suffering for her family and dignity?

Everyone seems to be talking about women empowerment. But as long as our women continue to suffer, this talk doesn’t seem real. There are several more issues that need to be addressed. I will try to address them in a future edition.

About The Author

Dr Sumi Saidullah

I have done PG in Counselling Psychology from IGNOU. I did Masters of Philosophy (MPhil) and PhD in Psychology from Bhagwant University, Ajmer, Rajasthan.

I am positive about every aspect of life. There are many things I like to do, to see, to experience and explore. I like to read, write; I like to talk and listen to others. So many things…

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