HEALTHY LIVING
12/25/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Postnuptial Depression: What Happens the Day After

I got married in August and, I'll admit it, I'm still slightly obsessed with reliving my own wedding day. But I don't think my friends want to reminisce anymore about the miraculously sunny hillside ceremony or the super rockin' dance party at the reception. I can't really turn to my husband either, the only other person as emotionally invested in my wedding as I, because he's 9,000 miles away in Vietnam. After the big to-do, which we spent a year planning long-distance, he's back living and working in Saigon and I'm back in Manhattan -- living with my grandmother. Talk about a letdown.

It wasn't until I received an e-mail from a friend that I realized there was a name for what I was going through; the e-mail read in part: "Hope you're not too deep into the wedding blues (the depression you get after the wedding is over, that no one really tells you about)." Bingo.

Postnuptial depression may not be a clinical diagnosis, but it has entered the lexicon of marriage in the past few years, and newly hitched couples will tell you it's real. The blues typically hit early in married life, psychiatrists say, as newlyweds begin recognizing that expectations of how their partner or relationship will change post-wedding are unrealistic. Worse, once the Big Day has come and gone, couples are suddenly forced to step out of their much-cherished, and often long-lived, "bride" or "groom" spotlight and just get on with real life.

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