Depression And Relationships
this article we will have a look at depression and relationships,
and what can be done if depression is negatively impacting on
Consider this...1 in 5 people will experience depression at some stage in their life.
Now, you may be wondering "What's
this got to do with me?" Well it means that either yourself or
someone you know, is very likely to experience a relationship where
one of the parties to the relationship has depression.
and Sally have been dating for 6 months.
The relationship is
going well and both are happy. Sally feels comfortable enough to tell
John that she has been living with depression for several years.And that she sees a psychiatrist and is on anti-depressant medication to treat her depression.Some people may think that it would be natural for John to view Sally differently, now that he knows of her mental illness.Why?Because so many people do not understand what it means to have a mental illness, depression being the most common.
the stigma that society has attached to people with a mental illness,
and it is easy to see why people with a mental illness are so
misunderstood.John may even break-up with Sally as he fears the unknown. But John has other and far more healthy options......he
could talk to Sally and ask her about her depression and try to
understand that Sally's depression is merely a part of her, NOT the
whole of her.
Other things that John should do:
If John wants to help Sally with her depression, then he needs to understand it.There may be several reasons
why Sally has depression, but one thing is certain, even if you are in
a strong relationship, depression, can have a negative impact on that relationship.I
am not saying that a person with depression who is in a relationship,
then that relationship is doomed to fail. Not at all. What
I am saying is that depression and relationships may need some extra
times, depression makes people think irrationally or their thoughts may
be distorted. This results in them not being able to see the good
people and things in life.
himself about depression - what it is, what causes it and what he can
expect when Sally has a major depressive episode¹. A quick Google search
will provide him with all this information.
- Once John has this
information, he should then talk to Sally to see if she is willing to
share with him, what caused her depression. For example, did she
lose a job, or did a close family member pass away?
- Not everyone
can actually pinpoint what caused their depression, so if Sally does not
know why she suffers from depression, then John shouldn't keep on asking her.
me on this, during a major depressive episode, you feel that everything
in life is dark and you lose all hope - for yourself, your family and
friends and in particular, your future.
The only thing worse than going through depression, is being in a
relationship with someone who has depression.
How do I know this?
Quite simply, I asked my partner of 14 years!My partner stated that it is difficult to watch me go through the
dark periods of life, feeling that there is nothing to do to help me.From
my perspective - the one in the relationship who has depression! - the
very fact that my partner is there beside me, means so much to me.
My partner never put me in the "too hard" basket and walked away.The most important support & help that my partner provides me includes:
Never judging or criticising
me when I have those low days that I do not even want to get out of bed
- these days are few and far between now that I am receiving the right
treatment. Goes with me to my psychiatrist's appointments.
Made it a point to find out what depression is and how it affects a person.
Reminds me of all the success I have achieved in life, which builds up my self-esteem.Okay, now let's go back to John and Sally.John
may decide to leave Sally if he doesn't want to be with her and is not
prepared to help her. Many relationships end because when you mix
depression and relationships it is not always easy.Given
that John has been in a happy relationship with Sally for 6 months,
there is no reason why they won't be happy, despite the fact that Sally
has told him about her depression. Just
like me, Sally may be getting the right treatment that enables her to
manage her depression and live a normal, productive, happy and joyful
in a relationship with someone who has depression does involve more
challenges than a relationship where neither person has a mental
If you both feel that it would be beneficial to your relationship, then seek relationship advice from trained professionals.
But I believe that if a person
leaves another person who has a mental illness, BEFORE trying to
understand their illness and trying to help them - then they are not
worth being in a relationship with.
Someone once said:
"Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it."
This is so true!
Above all, don't give up.
that you can help your partner manage their depression and believe
that the effort you are making matters - because it really does.
There are few things more powerful than what can come from a strong
Depression is a tough foe but it can be treated when the
one you love has you to depend on. With a strong relationship,
depression can be managed, and a relationship can stand the test of time.
¹ A major depressive episode is when a person with depression exhibits all the classic symptoms
sleep disturbance, low self-esteem, loss of hope, strong feelings of
guilt or worthlessness, morbid thoughts, or difficulty concentrating),
but with no known organic dysfunction.
Reproduction without permission prohibited.
Website design by Libby Kalis.