Marital stress can lead to depression
A new study suggests that marital stress may make people more vulnerable to depression.
The long-term study by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers shows that people who experience chronic marital stress are less able to savor positive experiences, a hallmark of depression. They are also more likely to report other depressive symptoms.
The findings are important, study leader Richard Davidson, UW-Madison William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry said, because they could help researchers understand what makes some people more vulnerable to mental and emotional health challenges.
They might also help scientists develop tools to prevent them.
"This is not an obvious consequence, if you will, of marital stress, but it's one I think is extraordinarily important because of the cascade of changes that may be associated," Davidson, founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the UW's Waisman Center said.
"This is the signature of an emotional style that reveals vulnerability to depression," he added.
Married people are, in general, happier and healthier than single people, according to numerous studies. But marriage can also be one of the most significant sources of long-lasting social stress. It's not all wedded bliss.
The researchers thought chronic marital stress could provide a good model for how other common daily stressors may lead to depression and similar conditions.
The study is published in the Journal of Psychophysiology.
(Posted on 26-04-2014)