At least 10% of the entire adult population of the planet suffers from depression. This mental disorder is the most common in the world. During life, one out of five people will experience this painful feeling of hopelessness, apathy, and tiredness of life, which we call depression. So, how to not let depression ruin your relationship?
Depression in a relationship: why’s it so common?
Many people are surprised when they are diagnosed with depression in a relationship. How could this happen? Well, yes, there can be fights, scandals, misunderstandings, but isn’t all this a natural process for couples? On the one hand, yes, and on the other, sometimes all this can only be a consequence of deeper problems of both or one partner. Depression in a relationship can happen to absolutely any couple. Yes, depression and love relationships are quite common things. Even if a relationship has no grounds for quarrels, disputes, and disappointments. Even such couples can wake up one day and realize that they live together purely mechanically, fulfilling the duties assigned and not finding any sense in spending free time together.
In such a period, it is most terrible to confuse depression with a lack of love and break up, because temporary apathy passes, but it is not always possible to glue a broken cup after that. Many believe that if they don’t have a burning passion for a partner, then they have lost interest in each other. Although in fact, interest may be lost to what surrounds you and to life in general.
If both partners are depressed, a relationship is destroyed very quickly. Each of them moves away from each other on their own, only occasionally recalling their affection. But if one of them wants to get close, it still doesn’t mean that the second one also wants it in. If only one partner is in a depressed state, then the second partner simply sometimes can’t understand and even avoid him or her, since everything happens at the level of emotions in an inadequate form. This is exactly the time when depression hurts your relationship. A depressed person wants something, but expresses own desires with irritation, sometimes aggressively or very compassionately. And this puts pressure on the psyche of a healthy partner.
Often, unsuccessful attempts to improve relationships between partners when one or both have depressive symptoms lead to the fact that relationships begin to accumulate problems that are not customary to discuss. People in a depressed state are simply not able to adequately and convincingly solve problems. Moreover, additional stressful situations may plunge people into their depressive mood even more.
And this will affect the further deterioration of relationships. Thus, some topics are closed for discussion and some problems are not solved. And this increasingly aggravates a relationship between partners. Reluctance to get out of a depressive state leads to a break in relationships. However, the problem lies not in a relationship, but in people who have depression. And the solution to the problem must be found within a couple, which will lead to the improvement in a relationship with each other.
Depression in a relationship: symptoms and causes
Depression in relationships is a natural consequence of the presence of “breakdowns” in them. It can’t be ignored because the line between stress and mental illness is very thin. Here are the signs that allow you to identify emerging depression in the early stages.
1. You go with the flow. You can’t say with certainty what is happening at the moment in your relationship. You rather go with the flow and you and your soulmate don’t go hand in hand, but in parallel to each other.
2. You are afraid of a partner’s reaction. When you are afraid of the anger of a partner, this is a sure sign that you are being oppressed. Fear of expressing your true thoughts and showing feelings leads to remoteness and loneliness in a couple, which inevitably ends in depression.
3. You are addicted to a loved one. Dependence on your loved one leads to a lack of freedom, fear of losing, obsessive desire to possess, etc. This is how depression affects relationships.
4. Relationships seem like a heavy burden. They hang on the neck and don’t allow us to live normally, enjoy life, go towards goals, and change for the better. However, in order to recognize that relationships are oppressive, you must have a lot of courage.
5. You don’t want to communicate with people. Another symptom of depressive relationships is the absence of normal social activity. That is why it is important not to dissolve in a partner but to communicate with friends and family. Love is an important part of a person’s life but it shouldn’t isolate you from other people. And if your soulmate forbids you to communicate with friends, colleagues, etc., it is worth considering whether everything is so good as it seems.
6. You have the desire, but can’t fix anything. Sometimes we burn out emotionally and no longer have the strength to fight for love. This is a sign of depression.
7. You can’t remember when you laughed together. If you had more positive emotions and joy, then you would never think to get upset or feel bad. After all, laughter is responsible for the production of the hormones of happiness – endorphins.
8. You worry about the future. This is one of the effects of depression on relationships. If it seems to you that your couple has a bleak future or doesn’t have it at all, if you feel anxious and nervous about what can happen next, then you are almost in a real depression. You need to do something!
9. You don’t hear each other. Healthy relationships are based on communication, on the dialogue. But the presence of two monologues unambiguously hints that your loved one doesn’t particularly listen to your feelings.
10. You are looking for someone to talk heart-to-heart. Why look for someone on the side if you should be understood, appreciated, and loved at home? Emotional infidelity is also infidelity. And the feeling of depression caused by the lack of care is most often pushes to it.
What to do next? You need to find activities that fill and delight you. And then deal with relationships – you should improve them or break up.
Being in a relationship with someone with depression
Sometimes there comes a time when depression and relationship problems overwhelm people. This period can last for quite a long time and a person sometimes says and does a lot of bad things. But does this mean that such a depressive state will oppress happiness in a relationship? And how to help someone get rid of this state?
1. Don’t analyze a partner’s behavior and don’t give life tips. The last thing your closest person needs is your investigation of the causes of depression and suggestions of ways to solve the “problem”. He or she needs support and understanding. Therefore, being in a relationship with someone who has depression, accept a person’s right to grieve and experience all other negative feelings. And there is no need to prove that the world is beautiful and there is absolutely no reason to be sad.
2. Focus on the positive. A person, who is overcome by depression, is inclined to overlook own successes, focusing on failures. It seems to him or her that everything they did was wrong, it was not at the right time and it would be better if they did nothing at all. In moments of depression, people lose confidence in the world and faith in themselves.
3. Don’t just speak, but do (or just be near). Typically, it is extremely difficult for people in depression to force themselves to do something. Therefore, any of your help will be useful. One important addition: offer help only when you are sure that you have the time and energy to fulfill the request.
4. Don’t react to aggression and negative. Dealing with depression in relationships, imagine that you are surrounded by an invisible shield, on which all offensive words become broken. Remember that all these words are spoken not by a person, but by his/her illness.
5. Take seriously the talk of suicide. It is one thing if your depressing soulmate casually says a phrase like “it’s so hard to live today”, but it’s completely different if he/she starts talking about suicide. You have to take this very seriously. It is advisable to contact a specialist because you should know how to deal with depression in a relationship.
Can a relationship cause depression?
Depression can have many causes, but for some reason, relationships are the most underestimated factor in the emotional state. Unfortunately, it only aggravates depression, turning into a chronic, indestructible mental disorder. That is why, at the first sign of it, it’s worth taking a critical look at your relationship. If you find more than half of these signs, then it’s time to think!
1. You feel that you are entirely at the mercy of a partner. Some people are convinced that this is even good. You can just relax and go with the flow. Unfortunately, there is a flip side: the inevitable decrease in self-esteem and the feeling of complete helplessness.
2. Your partner constantly criticizes you. Uncontrolled criticism doesn’t make any sense: you are hurt because you can’t change anything in yourself. This is often observed in depression in men and their relationships. And if this constant condemnation comes from a significant other, then self-esteem decreases and we get in depression.
3. Your partner controls you. The desire for control is not subject to control! Once started, it is easy to occupy more and more territory. Maybe your partner doesn’t even notice it. But the emotional impact can be very strong, especially if you never have conflicts over this. Depression is associated with a feeling of helplessness. And sooner or later, this situation will lead to a real avalanche of this feeling.
4. Your partner has depression. Depression is contagious. This especially affects people who are sensitive. A loved one is constantly in front of your eyes with all the symptoms of depression (bad mood, poor health, a complete lack of energy and motivation) and you are sad about this and feel guilty about his or her condition (although this is not your fault). But a partner sees life in dark tones, including a relationship with you.
5. Your partner is always right. It is completely natural for a person to strive to be right, but only as long as a partner doesn’t want to be right at any cost in any situation. If your partner denies the very possibility that he/she makes mistakes too, this is a real problem. How is this related to depression? The absolute right of one person always means that the other is mistaken. And as a result, the very feeling of helplessness arises, from which the path to the depths of depression begins.