How depression hurts relationships? In order to understand this, you must know depression and relationships can be interconnected. Sometimes, a relationship can trigger depression. However, people can also experience depression even if they are in a happy relationship.
Living with depression comes with its own challenges, including overcoming barriers to nourish and maintain relationships. According to a 2015 survey, couples indicated that depression negatively influenced their romantic relationships in these ways:
- emotional toll
- sexual intimacy
- lack of motivation
- lack of understanding
The study also found that the way depression affected a couple’s relationship was different depending on how depressed they were. This article will discuss how depression hurts relationships.
Millions of people around the world are affected by depression. It’s a type of mood disorder. While some people use the term “depression” to describe sadness, depression as a mental condition is different.
Depression can cause a variety of mental and physical symptoms.
- Feeling sad, worthless or guilty
- feeling irritable or angry
- low self-esteem
- fatigue and tiredness
- difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- eats more or less than the usual
- sleeping more or less than the usual
- loss of interest in hobbies and socializing
- loss of libido or sex drive
- suicidal thoughts
These symptoms can be mild or severe. There are many types of depression. Some depressions are linked to physical conditions such as premenstrual dysphoric disorders and endocrine disorders.
Past events or life events can trigger other types of depression. Sometimes relationships can trigger symptoms.
How Depression Hurts Relationships?
It is false to believe that people who are in loving, healthy relationships should not be depressed. Many people who are depressed believe that their mental health problems will disappear.. This is not true. In fact, it can make your mental health worse.
A healthy relationship should be a happy one where both partners enjoy each other’s company and spend time together. Both should be open to exploring together, trying new things, and being a support system throughout. Depression can cause people to be sad, irritable, and unmotivated, which can lead to a breakup.
A person suffering from depression may prefer to be at home by themselves than with their partner. You might feel tired or have a lot of emotional turmoil that makes it difficult to be out in public. They may also experience self-doubt and believe they aren’t good enough for their partner or will be left for someone who isn’t depressed.
Being in a relationship that is depressed can prove difficult for the other person. It can be frustrating for the partner if they aren’t interested in spending time with them or avoid date nights because it is easier to stay at home. Because the core elements of a healthy relationship are missing, such as affection, quality time, and intimacy, the partnership will be less satisfying.
Depression can impact relationships in many different ways. For example, depression affects:
A person suffering from depression might feel more tired than usual, less interested, or able to socialize with their partner. Depression can also lead to emotional changes such as increased irritability and a decrease in socializing.
People can feel ashamed or guilty about the negative effects that depression has on their relationships. Some people may feel guilty or ashamed of their depression and blame their partner. It can be difficult for the couple to express their feelings.
The partner of people with depression may also notice changes in their mental health. They may feel:
- shut out
- concerned for their partner
- are anxious about them, almost as if they’re “walking on eggsshells”
- The depression is their fault
- are responsible for the happiness and recovery of their partner
This can have a negative impact on a person’s mental health over time.
Intimacy and Sex
Depression can lead to a loss of interest in sex and sexual dysfunction, such as difficulties having orgasms or maintaining erection. One older study found that over 33% of men and 42% women with depression reported a decline in their libido. People with sexual dysfunction reported lower quality lives.
This can cause problems in relationships, such as feeling less connected to your partner or finding it harder to be attractive or desired.
A parent’s depression can also impact children if they are a partner caring for them. As an example, parental depression may affect bonding, nurturing, and practical aspects of parenting, such as providing healthcare and meeting academic needs.
5 Tips For Coping With Relationship Depression
If you’re in a relationship that involves someone with depression, it is likely you are dealing with a variety of emotions and a host of questions.
How does it feel to be depressed? What can you do for them to get through difficult times? What will the treatment and symptoms of depression affect your relationship? Although every person experiences depression differently, there are some things you can do for your loved one.
1. Educate Yourself
It is a great way to help your loved one. Learn everything you can about depression. Ask your partner’s physician for recommendations on reliable sources of information about depression. Or, you can do a quick Google search online.
2. Get Support
It’s okay to feel angry, frustrated, or upset when someone you love is feeling depressed. However, it is important to not allow these feelings to grow.
Counselors, therapists, and support groups can be helpful for anyone, not just those with depression. Professional help can be a great way to feel supported, vent your frustrations, and become more aware of your emotional needs.
Therapy can help you answer any questions about how to cope with depression in a loved one. It doesn’t matter if you do not seek out a mental health professional, it is important to have support during this time.
3. Be There For Them
Being there for someone with depression is one of the best things you can do. You can either hold them close or listen to their emotions.
Offer to assist them in making appointments and doing the chores they have to do every day. As they recover, let them know you will be there to help them in any way that they need.
4. Don’t Take It Personal
People can behave differently when depressed than they would when feeling normal. You may notice a change in their behavior, such as anger, irritability, or withdrawal. You may find them less interested in going out with you or sharing things with them as they once were. You may lose interest in sex with your spouse or partner.
These aren’t personal things and don’t necessarily mean your partner doesn’t care about you anymore. These are signs of a serious illness that needs to be treated.
5. Show Your Love
Depression can make someone feel unworthy of support and love. You can counter those thoughts by showing your partner you love them and telling them. Let your partner know that you are aware that depression can affect their thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Reassure them you are there to help them on their path to recovery.
Sometimes, depression can also affect relationships even though they are healthy. Depression can profoundly impact loved ones and individuals in all situations. For relationships to survive in the wake of depression, couples need to present a united front. However, as the partner of someone who is depressed, you must also realize that you alone don’t have the power to rescue your loved ones.
Treatment is available to help you overcome your relationship depression. People in loving relationships can support one another until treatment starts to take effect. Contact Dr. Neha Mehta for relationship counselling.
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