Forget post-partum depression. Instead, go back nine months to the event that triggered the partum and experience the latest form of the blues: “post-nuptial depression.”
Yes, it’s real–so real that CBS News is looking for new brides to tell all about the emptiness, the self-loathing that comes after the last grain of rice has fallen at your $50,000 wedding. (Thanks for the tip on the new trend from Inky reader K.C.) Here’s what Media Bistro chatroomer “abaird” has to say:
“If this is isn’t a joke, CBS News is in far worse shape than anyone could have ever predicted.”
Alas, it’s no joke, abaird. CBS is simply following on the heels of the BBC, which reported last August that post-nuptial depression strikes 1 in 10 new brides, ruining the honeymoon and causing many a pair of lovebirds to quit chirping.
For an example (from the London message board My Groovy Wedding) of the devastation that PND (the new acronym for the new mental disease) can wreak on even the most blissful of fledgling unions:
“I am very sorry to say that the post wedding come down hit me really hard and I found it hard to vocalise at the time.
“I’d say it took me a good 3-4 months to actually remember the most wonderful day of my life fondly, without feeling teary and empty….
“Another thought that I kept going back to was that that I’d never feel that gorgeous again, to be honest it was a bit of a surprise to me that I pulled it off in the first place! I have never been much of a girly girl & a lot of people were quite amazed by how well I scrubbed up on the day which was a first for me.
“The first two times I saw our wedding video I sat & cried throughout the whole thing (alright, the second time I was a bit p—-d which didn’t help!). Almost every day I would take out the photo album and trawl through the pictures again and again, usual in the morning after hubby had gone to work.”
And here’s an article from the U.K. Guardian recounting the woes of PND-struck Brit bride Carole Evans and her new hub:
“Evans’s husband recovered in a few days but her depression went on to last three months. She recalled: ‘We went back to the same flat and the same jobs, with nothing to show except thousands of pounds worth of debt incurred by the wedding.
“‘I’d never been depressed before and thought it must mean I had married the wrong person. I went off sex and I became withdrawn and uncommunicative. It was a terrible way to start a new shared life.’
“‘There is no happy ever after,’ said Phillip Hodson, a fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, who suggests that at least 10 per cent of new spouses suffer a post-wedding depression which, if left untreated, can lead to despair and even separation.
“‘PND is a modern phenomenon that is already very widespread and is getting more common all the time,’ he said. ‘It ranges from vague discontent to full-scale depression. PND can last just a few days, though if left untreated can go on indefinitely, getting worse and more ingrained with time.’
“Post-wedding depression stems from the belief that marriage will somehow elevate the participants to a higher, happier state of existence. That the reality of married life is fairly mundane, often boring and frequently stressful, is a hard fact facing thousands of new brides and grooms each year.”
Ah, only in the affluent West do people need to invent new ways to feel miserable. I myself would recommend a nice bubble bath and a get-real pill to PND sufferers, but instead I suspect that we’ll see a whole new branch of the therapy industry arising to help new brides cope with the fact that, no, married life is not one long honeymoon.
And with same-sex marriage now a reality, expect PND to get pushed aside in favor of an even newer way to make yourself unhappy, PGND.