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Can Resolving Marital Issues Help You Feel Less Depressed?

resolveissues-MC-Pinterest-Meme Can Resolving Marital Issues Help You Feel Less Depressed?


Can Resolving Marital Issues Help You Feel Less Depressed?


These days, the word “depressed” is commonly used to mean “unhappy,” “sad,” or “dejected.” It is often used to describe a temporary feeling that is generally negative and disheartening. In the field of emotional health, “depressed” refers to the medical condition of clinical depression. To be clinically depressed, you must manifest symptoms that meet the criteria of a DSM-5 diagnosis.  

In marriage, conflicts arising from differences are common. While marriage can bring you unbelievable happiness, conflicts are as common and can also make you very unhappy. If you are worried that the feeling may get worse or evolve into depression, you may wonder if resolving marital issues can make you feel less depressed.

If marital issues are contributing to a spouse feeling “depressed” (whether it is used loosely or in a clinical sense), resolving them can help ease the sadness. If the sadness is stemming from clinical depression, the depressed spouse needs to be treated for the symptoms (including the other depressive symptoms) to dissipate.

So, YES, resolving marital issues can result in feeling less unhappy. However, if the conflicts in your marriage are triggered by depression, treatment by a professional is also necessary. 

To better understand how depression affects a marital relationship, there are other facts you need to know.


What Is Clinical Depression?

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines clinical depression as “a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.”

When a spouse is clinically depressed, the chance of conflict in the marriage is higher. The affected one may respond negatively to minor issues, exacerbating them or making matters complicated around the house. This can make the life of the unaffected spouse more difficult and leave them both unhappy and frustrated. 


What Are Its Causes?

It isn’t easy to pinpoint the triggers of clinical depression. It is a complex emotional condition that has no specific causes. According to WebMD, there are several factors “that may increase the chance of depression,” including conflict, major life events, serious illness, and other issues. Since most of these can be present in a marriage, any person, especially those with a genetic predisposition, may become depressed when marital conflict is aggravated by the other issues.

Can unresolved marital issues cause depression?  While marital conflict may not directly cause clinical depression, it can put the spouses at greater risk for depression. The link between depression and conflict in marriage, or marital issues and depressive symptoms co-occurring among husbands and wives, is supported by several studies. Specifically, the study “Marital Conflict, Depressive Symptoms, and Functional Impairment” by Choi and Marks (2008) showed “that marital conflict directly led to increases in depression and functional impairment and indirectly led to a rise in depression via functional impairment.”


Understanding the Connection

Their relationship can be a quintessential source of motivation and inspiration for married people. Choi and Marks pointed out that they tend to enjoy better health and longer life than unmarried people. This can be attributed to having someone who genuinely cares for them, providing “emotional, social support, meaning and purpose in life, and social control.” All these are regarded as key processes that can foster overall wellness.

What seems less accounted for (in research and studies) is the “differences in health among married adults,” comparing couples who successfully resolve their issues with those who don’t. Inasmuch as conflicts between couples can stand in the way of seeking and providing emotional support, they can potentially prevent the flow of these key processes.

In addition, unhappy marriages may place greater strain on the spouses in other areas of life, such as parenting and work. Feeling unhappy has also been linked with less motivation to take care of oneself, physical symptoms, and poor health. Frustration and sadness may also be expressed in irritability, constant anger, and feeling overwhelmed, all of which are contributors to major arguments.


Resolving Marital Issues with Counseling

All relationships require work, especially intimate and loving ones. Minor differences and clashes can’t be avoided, but they must not be ignored either. Aside from being a threat to the stability of your marriage, unresolved marital issues can make both of you unhappy, frustrated, and vulnerable to clinical depression.

Most differences and conflicts are manageable if you address them immediately. If you tend to be emotional or the issues have escalated so that it becomes difficult to talk without being agitated, call a counselor independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – Sanford, NC. Rather than letting the tension mount and your emotions drive you into despair, do something positive for your relationship and emotional health—seek help from Carolina Counseling Services – Sanford, NC to resolve the issues that are keeping you from being happy and emotionally healthy.


Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Sanford, NC

Counties: Chatham, Harnett, Lee and Moore County, NC

Areas: Sanford NC, Tramway NC, Olivia NC, Broadway NC, Cumnock NC, Gulf NC, Goldston NC, Carbonton NC, Glendon NC, Carthage NC, Cameron NC, Lillington NC, Moncure NC

Zip Codes: 27330, 27332, 28327, 27505, 27546

Rose Thomas, MA, LPC, LCAS, NCC

Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Children, Teens, Individuals, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder, ADHD, Relationship Issues, Marriage Counseling, Parenting, PTSD/Trauma Recovery, Acute Stress Disorder, Adult Sexual Abuse Survivors, Adjustment Disorders, Depressive Disorders, Persistent Depressive Disorder, Bipolar and Related Disorders, Self-injurious/Self-Harm, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Separation Anxiety, Disruptive Disorders, Conduct Disorder, Marital Conflict and Discord, LGBT, Substance Use Disorders
 Insurance: BCBS, Tricare,/Tricare Prime, Select, Extra, Retired, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

Fetima Wellington, MS, LPC, LCAS-A

Specializes in: (Ages 6+) Children, Adolescents/Teens, Individuals, Couples, Family Therapy and Marriage Counseling. Anxiety, Depression, Bi-Polar Disorder, Addiction and Recovery, Relationship Issues, Post Partum Depression, Family Conflict, Crisis Intervention, ODD, Conduct Disorder, LGBTQ
 Insurance: BCBS,  Cash, HSA and FSA (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

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Carolina Counseling Services - Sanford, NC
304 N Horner Boulevard
Sanford, NC 27330