You’ve just gotten married to the love of your life. The wedding was insanely awesome. Everything went to plan, and the wedding itself was more fun than you imagined it would be. You’re flying high on this rush of adrenalin, feeling the best you’ve felt in years, until, suddenly you…just don’t.
Something has changed, but you’re unsure what or how. All you know is that you’re left facing an ugly monster that has taken residence in your brain and immediate surroundings – the post-wedding blues monster. You’re unsure how it got there, but man is it painful! You have everything you could possibly want – the man, the dress, the wedding, the honeymoon, so why this sudden case of acute and overwhelming sadness? And, perhaps more importantly, how do you deal with this monster so that you can get back on track with your perfectly wonderful life?
What we’ve just described is a typical case scenario of post-wedding depression, an actual known condition that occurs quite often for brides. Also known as Post-nuptial depression, the condition feels a lot like regular depression, but always occurs in the weeks following a bride’s wedding. Studies indicate that it is possible for both males and females to be affected. However, it is far more common for females to experience symptoms simply because they are the ones who are usually more invested in the planning of the wedding, and therefore more likely to be affected by the emptiness that can follow such intense wedding planning. So now we know what it is, but why does it happen, and how do we deal with it once the blues set in?
There are several reasons why brides can get depressed after their wedding. However, the one most people agree upon is that after months of preparation it can be a letdown once the wedding is over. Sound a bit far-fetched? Well, consider the amount of time, effort and energy you might be putting into your own wedding. If you are in the middle of planning a wedding, your wedding will most likely be the one thing you’re always thinking about – it’s your focus. Now imagine that the focus is completely gone, leaving mundane married life in its wake. Add to that equation the fact that you have big hopes for the kind of day your wedding will turn out to be. You want it to go just the way you’ve always wanted. Cutting back to the present, the wedding is now over, taking with it the focus and excitement it added to your life. Can you see what we’re getting at?
If you wake up a day, a week, or even a month after your wedding and you feel slightly depressed, realise this is a totally normal response. Don’t beat yourself up for not feeling up to scratch; it won’t help and will only serve to make you feel worse. Instead, try communicating what you’re feeling with your new husband. Even if he personally can’t relate, he’ll be able to support you in what you’re feeling and will know it isn’t about him. Try going on fun little outings with your spouse to take your mind off things. Another good idea is to take up a hobby you’ve always wanted to try or reinvigorate an old passion. If your mind and hands are busy you’ll have less time to dwell on the fact that you feel down in the dumps.
Above everything, remind yourself that the depressive phase will pass, because everything does, eventually. This is not how you will feel for the rest of your life. Nor will your married life always feel this dull, overwhelming or unexciting. Ride the wave, do what you need to do to help yourself feel better and you’ll no doubt be conquering that Blues Monster before you know it.