Impending early marriage leading to depression, anxiety and stress: Woes of female medical students at Hyderabad
Background: Pakistan, like the rest of south-east Asia, is plagued with old trends and traditions that target the fairer sex in particular. Marriage tops all charts in this regard and every parent in our increasingly misogynistic society wishes to marry off their daughter as soon as possible. Doctor brides however have always been seen positively. Parents wish to benefit from this factor and get their daughters married even before they graduate. Objective: We hypothesize that the fear of an impending marriage leads to depression, anxiety and stress among female medical students. This study hopes to gauge the psychosocial and psychosomatic effects. Methodology: This observational cross sectional psychosocial analysis was carried out on a total of 100 female medical students of Liaquat University of Medical & Health Sciences and ISRA University from March to June 2014. Informed consent was obtained and complete anonymity guaranteed. “Google docs” was used to collect data via online structured questionnaire forms. The data obtained was analyzed in SPSS. v. 16.0. Results: 43 percent of the sample confessed that their families had, at least once, been approached for purpose of marriage. 16 percent admitted that they had themselves received marriage proposals. 88 percent of the sample held negative views regarding early marriage before graduation. Upon inquiry, 78 percent of those who had encountered prospects of marriage before graduation admitted to have felt depression, anxiety and stress along with mild psychosomatic symptoms. Conclusion: Females constitute a significant majority of medical students in Pakistan and early marriage is known to adversely affect the prospects of a successful career. On the basis of our result, we conclude that even the fear of impending marriage is inducing depression, anxiety and stress among female students and can potentially harm their education and health.
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