In this guide, we will discuss a few tips on how to not let your depression ruin your relationships.
How to not let your depression ruin your relationship?
This is the first question that comes to mind “How to not let your depression ruin your relationship?” when you are battling with depression but remember when you are in a relationship you are not the only sufferer. Depression isn’t just about feeling sad or being in a bad mood or melancholy, it is so much more than that but some people won’t perceive it the way you do, after all, they are not the ones dealing with depression.
Symptoms others may have noticed include feeling irritable, drained or fatigued, have difficulties concentrating, changes in your appetite or sleeping patterns, feelings of worthlessness and/or hopelessness, loss of motivation and even suicidal behavior, in some cases.
If you feel your relationship has changed, the things you used to do with your partner won’t interest you anymore or your sex life is not the same since because your partner thinks you have lost interest in them, then keep reading, this may interest you.
Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the world, and millions are affected by it so you are not alone. The good news is that there are many treatment options available.
This illness required an integrated approach to treatment, which actually begins with acceptance. Accepting this is not normal and that help is needed. It is important to determine if your depression happened while you are in a relationship or it was caused by something else.
Is depression in a relationship common?
Depression, as we have discussed, is more common than you think. Everyone suffers from depression at some point, adolescents, adults or old people, some times even children do. There is no exception really, where our environment we live in makes us vulnerable. The kind of life we chose to live and how we deal with difficult situations puts us at risk.
We tend to stop caring about what happens around us and shut everyone out, in an attempt to feel better and deal with our internal battle on our own. However, doing this can really affect all areas of our lives, including our romantic relationship.
Since depression can affect any aspect of our lives, this makes it very common. When depression strikes we tend to avoid talking about it, and sometimes our partner just in an attempt to give us some space and to avoid confrontation won’t dare to ask trying to pretend everything is ok leaving unfulfilled needs and expectations on the side. Growing frustrated and angrier as the days go by.
So you may be wondering, how do I deal with depression in my relationship? Start by thinking about how is your attitude towards life making things a bit more complicated causing distress in your relationship.
Tips for you and your partner
Ok, so you have been suffering from depression and you have been trying to hide it from your partner but all this has done is actually making him/her think that you don’t love them anymore or that you lost interest.
Remember, depression is an illness and you or your partner probably won’t be aware of how disabling and debilitating this mental illness can be.
Depression is still misunderstood, it is important to remember it is an illness like any other and even though you are not bleeding or having any evident physical pain it is still considered very serious.
If you notice your partner displaying symptoms such as ongoing fatigue, loss of interest in favorite activities, or sadness that persists for more than two weeks, encourage them to seek professional help and support them through their diagnoses as much as you can.
Tip 1: Tell your partner how you feel, talk about it
If you are not feeling well, make sure you let your partner know, otherwise, they will start to think they are the source of the problem. Let him/her know it is you and not them. Also, make sure to let your partner know you probably won’t “be yourself” and that if you say something hurtful or mean, it is not something you’ll likely say if circumstances were different.
What can you do as a partner? Listen to your partner, acknowledge how they are feeling and understand that there is nothing wrong with you, that the reason your partner is acting strange or unlike themselves is not your fault.
Depression may make your partner seem inconsiderate, hostile, or selfish, remember that the illness is to blame. You may find it difficult to understand what your partner is feeling, or why, but what they need more than your understanding are your sympathy and support. Listen to them as much as possible. Just showing that you care can go a long way.
Tip 2: Don’t give up on you, ask for help
If you have decided you will like to go to therapy or probably you are already taking antidepressants, then, try not giving up on it. If your idea is to go to therapy, then go, don’t think about it too much.
Also, if you are taking antidepressants and you keep having the horrible side effects making you not wanting to take the medication, then, it is advised to contact your doctor and let them know. They can probably adjust your dose or change your medication as they see fit but remember, you won’t have to suffer in silence, there are other ways.
What can I do as a partner? Be supportive, caring and understanding. If you have hard your partner says they will like to go to therapy but they always seem to take a step back then encourage them without forcing them to go. Try making the appointment for them and going with them to the sessions, this way they can feel you are actually there to support them.
If, on the other hand, they are taking the medication but are not being consistent because the medication is making them feel unwell or they just simply forget when to take it, what you can do is set an alarm yourself and make sure they are taking the medication on time. If the medication is causing too many side effects, recommend them to go see their doctor so they can adjust the dose or change the medication.
Tip 3: Don’t try to “fix” things yourself
Avoid thinking your partner is broken or there is something inherently wrong with them and they need to be “fixed”, this will only make things worse.
Many people often feel like they should be able to cure their partner’s depression if they can just figure out the right thing to do or say. This can lead to frustration and a sense of hopelessness, on both sides. Instead, look for practical ways to help.
Depressed people often have trouble managing daily tasks, so consider temporarily taking on a bit more of shared responsibilities such as housework, just as if they were physically and mentally ill. Try to keep your partner engaged in pleasant activities on a regular basis, but don’t pressure them if they’re not feeling up to it.
Plan events you can look forward to together and remind them of the things they enjoy. Often, the best thing you can do is to assist your partner with the practical aspects of getting professional help, such as keeping appointments.
Tip 4: Do not blame your partner
Keep in mind that feeling depressed is something your partner struggles with every day. Some days will be good but most days probably won’t and it is not something they chose. It is not as simple as “deciding” not to be depressed and all of a sudden thing go back to normal.
You can feel as if depression was the third person in the relationship, that depression is even more important than you and that it is their fault for not wanting to “stop” being depressed. It is never that simple but you are seeing things outside the barrier, try to avoid being judgemental about it.
Tip 5: Do not make rushed and emotional decisions
This tip is actually going to the depressed and non-depressed partner. When we are depressed, it is easy to let our emotions (or the lack of it) govern our behavior so in some cases, we may just want to end things out of frustration and anger but these are not decisions we would have made if we weren’t depressed or if we didn’t have all those emotions going on.
Recognize when to remove yourself from the situation, this way you can avoid doing or saying something you may regret later. You will notice how when you get back to feeling calm and ready to talk it makes it easier to make clear decisions about what you would like to do next.
Tip 6: Don’t force your partner
Avoid forcing your partner to socialize or go out with you when they are not really feeling it. This can quickly escalate into a big argument and put some more stress into your life and your relationship. If you are having a social event or you want to go out, it does not necessarily mean that your partner needs to go with you.
Additionally, the non-depressed part of the relationship may feel the depressing part is usually letting them down or disappointing because they are no longer as supportive and “present” as they were before the depression. Avoid taking things personally, your partner is not doing things on purpose and as we have said, depression is the one to blame.
Why is this blog about how to not let depression ruin your relationships important?
Here we focused on the romantic side of things and how to not let depression ruin your relationship following a few tips but, romantic relationships are not the only relationships affected by depression.
You also have relationships with your friends and family members, and they can also be affected by depression. The key here is communication, understanding, and support towards the depressed side of the relationship. In many cases, we won’t be able to handle things on our own so it is important to consider getting professional help.
Remember, living with depression is not easy and requires a lot of commitment, understanding, and patience.
Feel free to comment in the comments section below!
- When Depression Hurts Your Relationship: How to Regain Intimacy and Reconnect with Your Partner When You’re Depressed
- I’m Worth More: Realize Your Value. Unleash Your Potential
- It’s Ok That You’re Not Ok: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Made Simple: Rewire Your Anxious Brain, Overcoming Depression and Intrusive Thoughts in a Simple and Fast Way
- The 10-Step Depression Relief Workbook: A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Approach