It might seem obvious. When you’re in a bad mood, of course, you’re going to have issues in your relationships, right? But what happens when a bad mood doesn’t go away, and signs of depression start appearing?
We all strive for healthy relationships. But if you’re someone dealing with feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or maybe even a total lack of emotion, you may find that those feelings can have a significant impact on your ability to function, much less maintain a relationship. Unfortunately, depression is a double-edged sword. It affects not only the person who is suffering but also their loved ones. It’s awfully cyclical; the worse you feel, the harder it is to maintain relationships. The more your relationships falter, the worse you feel.
So how exactly does depression affect relationships, and what can we do to manage it?
Depression and Communication
If you’re depressed, you may feel overwhelmed, hopeless, and exhausted. Which makes it extremely difficult to express your feelings and needs. You may also find yourself withdrawing from social interactions. Or avoid communicating with your significant other altogether. When we don’t communicate clearly (or at all,) this can lead to feelings of frustration and resentment from our partners. Which can ultimately damage our relationships.
Depression and Intimacy
Let’s face it. When you’re not feeling good, it’s hard to feel “in the mood.” People struggling with depression may experience a loss of interest in sex and/or find it difficult to feel pleasure. They may also have difficulty initiating physical contact. Or responding to their partner’s advances. When we don’t respond to our partners, they may have feelings of rejection and inadequacy, which, surprise, can lead to further strain on the relationship.
Depression and Support
Depression can impact the support that people offer each other in a relationship. If you’re struggling with depression, you may need more emotional support. Which can be difficult for others, especially if they don’t understand what you’re facing. Your significant others, family, or friends may also feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of providing that support and may struggle to balance their own needs and emotions. Eventually, this can lead to feelings of burnout and resentment from both parties.
Managing Depression in Relationships
Despite how daunting depression may seem in a relationship, there’s still hope! The most important thing to remember when managing depression, especially in an intimate relationship, is that it requires a joint effort from both partners. Here are some of the best ways to navigate and manage depression in a close relationship:
- Communication: First and foremost is communication. Keeping open lines of communication between yourself and your partner is key. Especially in navigating your life together when one of you has depression. It’s essential to be open and honest about your feelings and needs. To try not to assume each other’s feelings or thoughts.
- Patience and understanding: Better said than done, I know! Depression can be incredibly hard to live with, for both the person with the condition and for a partner. There will be good days and there will be bad days. It may take time to see improvement. Even when both people are trying desperately to improve their relationship. Education about your or your partner’s depression, learning coping strategies, and being kind to one another is crucial to maintain a healthy relationship.
- Self-care: Both people in a relationship need to prioritize self-care. This means doing anything that brings either of you joy and relaxation. It could be exercising, hobbies, spending time with friends and family, or just taking a moment to yourself. Whatever self-care looks like for you, it’s important that you feel you have time and space to care for yourself.
- Seek professional help: Last, but certainly not least, it’s essential to seek professional help when dealing with depression. As a therapist that specializes in depression, I can help both partners start to understand depression and provide tools to manage it. I help you go from feeling like your relationship is “going down the tubes,” to being able to communicate openly with your partner and looking forward to maintaining a healthy, fulfilling relationship.
If you or your partner suffer from depression and you know it’s starting to eat away at your relationship, please don’t hesitate to reach out. And remember, while depression may seem like an incredibly daunting hurdle in your relationship, it’s just that–a hurdle in your path together.
Ready To Begin Depression Counseling in Parkland, FL?
Break free from the grip of depression and restore harmony in your relationships by seeking depression counseling at Invigorate Counseling. Discover strategies to overcome depressive thoughts and build stronger, more fulfilling connections with your loved ones. Prioritize your mental health and take the courageous step towards a happier, healthier you by following these three simple steps:
- Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with me to see if we’d be a good match
- Meet with me, Lindsay Howard, a depression therapist
- Start managing your depression symptoms and creating a healthier relationship!
Other Services Offered at Invigorate Counseling
At Invigorate Counseling, I understand you may be struggling with more than one mental health need. In addition to depression counseling at my Florida practice, I offer CBT Therapy, Anxiety Therapy, Grief Counseling, and Addiction Counseling. My services are offered for clients in the state of Florida located in Parkland, Coconut Creek, Miami and Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Orlando, Tallahassee, and anywhere else in the state! For more about my practice, check out my FAQs and Blog!
Dr. Lindsay Howard, Psychologist, Psy.D.
Hi! My name is Lindsay Howard, and I specialize in therapy for depression, anxiety, grief, and substance abuse. I serve the community of Parkland, FL, and all residents of Florida. If you’d like to learn more about how I can help you or your loved one, feel free to schedule a free 15-minute consultation with me.