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Love, Marriage and Mental Health

Wednesday, 08 October 2014 00:00  by Emily S.

Despite his longtime aversion to marriage, the world’s most renowned bachelor and A-list movie star finally tied the knot at the age of 53 at the end of September to successful lawyer and activist Amal Alamuddin.

For years, the actor insisted he had no intentions of marrying, and in fact, he had reportedly been in good company with this sentiment. According to TIME Magazine, 25 percent of young adults are likely to never marry. If these Millennials do decide to wed, they will be much older than the average age of previous generations.

A recent poll suggests the top reasons fewer people are tying the knot is mainly due to financial reasons such as lack of career options and fear of costly divorce. Divorce is not only pricey; it can wreak havoc on a woman’s sense of stability and self-esteem. The trauma of a marriage ending can trigger situational depression that is often associated with similar grief that we experience after the death of a loved one. Women may even experience symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder if the breakup is especially devastating.

For those who have been diagnosed with a mental health issues prior to marriage, openness, communication and support is critical. Mood disorders such as bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression and anxiety can trigger huge fights and impulsive behaviors that can destroy the relationship. Brookhaven Retreat encourages the women at its facility to participate in weekly family therapy sessions and daily groups that help develop essential life skills and a better understanding of how poor mental health affects those we love most.

So with fewer people aiming to walk down the isle, and the increased divorce rates, why would George Clooney, or anyone, decide to marry? It may be because marriage is a longstanding tradition that encourages support of two people to care for, love and nurture through difficult and trying times. Psychiatry Weekly states the emotional, financial and social partnership that marriage provides is associated with significantly lower rates of depression and substance abuse.

Despite the perceived stress and financial fear, a healthy marriage can bring joy and wellness. Overall, science has found that marriage is linked to improved mental health and better quality of life.

Last modified on Monday, 16 January 2017 19:40

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