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Can an Unhappy Marriage Lead to Depression?

TMS Gaithersburg Experts Examine the Development of Depression in Married Couples

Marriage can bring great joy to a person’s life. A happy relationship filled with love and trust is one of the best things in life that a person can experience. But marriage is not a shield against the challenges that life sometimes brings us. Hardships, such as the loss of a job or infertility can dramatically strain a relationship and lead to depression. The relationship itself, if it is experiencing serious problems, can also cause someone to develop depression. No matter the cause, depression can end up affecting one or both people in the marriage. 

If you or a loved one is dealing with depression in a marriage, you have a wide variety of treatment options to help you get through it. In our latest article, the TMS Gaithersburg experts — Psych Associates of Maryland — are here to examine the common causes of depression in a marriage, how it can affect the family, and your treatment options. 

Common Causes of Depression in a Marriage

TMS Gaithersburg Experts Examine Common Risk Factors for Depression in a Marriage

wedding rings

Sometimes, depression develops as a result of an unhappy marriage. Other times, depression develops during a marriage, but not as a result of it. For instance, some mothers suffer from post-partum depression after the birth of a child. Both cases can cause your mental health to deteriorate and strain your marriage further. 

A variety of causes could be behind you or your partner’s depression, such as:

  • Early childhood trauma and abuse
  • A history of drug or alcohol abuse
  • Having a history of depression in the family
  • Medical conditions such as chronic pain, insomnia, or ADHD
  • A traumatic life event
  • Sadness or grief from the death of a loved one

Some people are more vulnerable to developing depression than others. People with low self-esteem or who are struggling with a physical illness are particularly vulnerable. 

How Depression Can Affect a Marriage

The Symptoms of Depression Can Affect How Partners Perceive Each Other

man and woman sitting on a bench

Unfortunately, depression can take a toll on any marriage. Plus, as a person’s depression worsens, this can further strain their marriage. People who struggle with depression may pay less attention to their partners, become less involved in the relationship, act irritable, and even experience trouble enjoying their time together with them. 

However, it is also important to note that relationship problems can also make someone vulnerable to depression. Constantly dealing with conflict, failing to resolve problems, and difficulty communicating can create a great amount of strain in relationships. If you believe that you or your partner is suffering from depression, check out these warning signs

  • Your sex life has either diminished or completely non-existent. Many people with depression report a lack of sex drive, which can result from having a poor body image or from taking medications. 
  • You have started to feel hopeless about your relationship. Feelings of hopelessness are a common predictor of depression. However, your feelings do not necessarily mean that your marriage is doomed. People with depression sometimes experience cognitive distortions that lead them to believe their future is hopeless and that things will never get better for them. It is critical to remember how your depression could be skewing your opinion. 
  • Your anxiety is affecting you. Anxiety and depression are often seen together. A person dealing with this mixture may be dealing with low energy levels, high irritability, and difficulty concentrating. As a result, an everyday relationship problem might feel like a serious threat. This response can end up worsening your symptoms. 
  • You feel like acting out. Men who are depressed are more likely to act out by becoming aggressive, drinking heavily, and even having affairs. 
  • You have trouble dealing with your emotions. Almost everyone experiences difficulties in dealing with their emotions. However, people with depression can become overwhelmed by their emotions and shut them down when they arise. This can manifest through becoming self-critical, ignoring your emotions, or becoming ruminative. 

TMS Gaithersburg Treatments and Other Procedures for Depression

People Have a Wide Range of Options When it Comes to Treatment for Depression

man and woman sitting face to face

When dealing with depression, it can feel like there is no end in sight. But even the most severe cases of depression are treatable. Along with regular treatment such as therapy and medication, you can also make an array of lifestyle changes to supplement it. Exercising regularly and working on stress reduction techniques can make a huge difference in your treatment. 

Educating yourself on depression and different treatments can also be beneficial. Some of the most popular treatments for depression include:

  • Mental health counseling using methods like cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) whereby a health care professional attaches a TMS device to a patient’s head that sends magnetic pulses to the brain. 
  • Antidepressants 

Many couples also find it helpful to enroll in marriage counseling along with their depression treatments. 


With the right help and support, it is possible to manage your depression and improve your marriage. Reach out to TMS Gaithersburg experts Psych Associates of Maryland to schedule an appointment today.

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