If you didn’t already have enough reasons for getting married, Australian research company Roy Morgan has just given you another one.
As it turns out, the mental health status of married Australians is better than that of any other marital status.
Researchers looked at the rates of anxiety, depression, stress, and panic attacks experienced by Australians within the 12 months prior to the study. When the analysts took a look at the results, they found the break down between each marital status group quite intriguing.
Apparently, being engaged is the most stressful situation of the lot, with 44.2 per cent of people having experienced stress in the year prior to the study. About one in five reported depression, and that figure was similar for those reporting anxiety. Just over 7 per cent of engaged people suffered a panic attack.
Here the numbers are notably different, with about one in four reporting either depression or anxiety. The stress levels dropped for separated people compared to engaged ones, with roughly a third experiencing the issue. A further 7.8 per cent said they had a panic attack, a similar number to engaged people.
De facto partnerships
De facto couples are very similar to married ones in that they often share property, have kids together, share grocery bills and fight over whose turn it is to take out the bins. Yet even then, the numbers of mental health issues are higher than those of married people across the board.
About one in three people living in a de facto relationship reported stress, and just over one in five (21.5 per cent) has experienced anxiety. The number of those who had suffered a panic attack was similar to both that of separated and engaged people at 7.3 per cent, and 17.9 per cent of people reported suffering depression.
Here’s where things get good.
Just one in five married people reported feeling stress, and one in ten reported depression. Only 3.2 per cent reported one or more panic attacks, and only 12.3 per cent said they had experienced anxiety.
That puts married people in a better mental health situation than any of the other categories.
We think Angela Smith, the group account director at Roy Morgan Research, put it nicely when she said: “Suddenly that old chestnut about marriage being ‘just a piece of paper’ no longer sounds quite as convincing.”
The one odd anomaly is obviously the number of engaged couples reporting not only the highest level of stress, but also similar levels of depression, anxiety and panic attacks as separated people. Surely there’s no one who smiles more than a woman with a bright new diamond ring on her finger, except perhaps for the man who heard her say yes!
But when you consider the countless decisions to be made about everything from the flavour of the cake (if you even have a cake) to the colour of the save-the-date cards, there certainly is a lot of stress involved.
There’s clearly a lot to be said for remembering the outcome of being married – and hiring a wedding planner to help you out!