The spouse of a spouse with a psychiatric disorder is negatively impacted by numerous changes in the marital and household dynamics, including altered emotions, employment issues, assistance with domestic chores, and anti-social behavior. Such environmental factors, when combined with co-dependency and spousal resemblance, increase the risk of a psychiatric disorder in the spouse of a spouse with a psychiatric disorder.
Medical claims from an insurance carrier were reviewed involving 21,027 insured 18-64 years of age and 16,543 spouses.
The spouse of a spouse diagnosed with a stress, anxiety, or depressive disorder was also diagnosed with stress (19.2%), anxiety (26.4%), or depression (23.6%). Female spouses of insured males were at higher risk of a diagnosis of the corresponding psychiatric disorder than male spouses of insured females.
In general the spouse of a spouse diagnosed with a stress, anxiety, or depressive disorder had a 2-3-fold increased risk of being diagnosed of the corresponding psychiatric disorder.