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Dating someone with depression is quite challenging which is why a lot of people stray away from this very idea. Yet, when we love someone accepting them wholly becomes quite essential. This means that you’ll have to stick around for the good and the bad times. Especially if you are dating someone suffering from depression every step you take will validate your significant other’s experiences. Clearly, dating someone with depression isn’t as easy as dating someone with stable mental health. Yet, every once in a while you should be ready to take yourself under consideration as well. That’s because you matter as much as the person you’re dating. So, let’s go through some aspects that are worth considering when you’re dating someone who’s struggling with something as grueling as depression.
Dating & Depression: Some Common Hurdles
Lack Of Participation
One of the textbook signs of depression is the lack of participation. it’s been clinically proven that a large majority of people suffering from depression choose to be a little bit more introversive. It’s not the case for every individual but a regular pattern among most. This lack of participation could also include your partner’s inability to do stuff that you both used to do before. For example, hanging out at your favorite place or going to watch your favorite films on the weekend. Due to depression, your partner might even start missing out on important events and gatherings. This in turn can create quite a rift among couples as they fail to do the things they used to enjoy before. The distance can start increasing even further if that lack of motivation leads them to stop appearing on date nights.
Sudden Highs And Lows
Every adult realizes that life comprises both highs and lows. So, you can never be too happy or too sad and this is exactly what makes life worth living. Yet when you are dating someone with depression these highs and lows appear more frequently in your life. For instance, no one can know what can trigger a negative response in your partner. It’s completely impossible to prepare for these episodes in advance. That’s why couples struggling with depression always feel like they are on the edge. There’s always a lack of surety as to when your partner’s struggle with depression will suddenly break out of its shell and spoil a happy moment for you both.
Lack Of Affection
The presence of emotional bonding and affection are the key constituents of a successful relationship. A relationship soon crumbles down if there is a lack of physical or emotional nurturing for long periods. One of the biggest hurdles experienced by people who struggle with depression is their lack of sexual libido. Henceforth in a huge number of cases, partners suffering from depression fail to experience physical intimacy with their s/o. This could be a huge deal-breaker for most people as sexual needs comprise a huge portion of a healthy relationship. The inability to keep up with a positive sex life can corrode a relationship from the inside. If your partner’s taking antidepressants, that could also affect their satisfaction levels with their sex life.
People struggling with depression often show a lack of confidence. This lack of confidence might convince them that they lack something. In turn, your partner might start feeling that you deserve better than them. Even though the situation might be quite on the contrary their crumbling confidence might lead them to assume that they are simply too much of a burden on you. Over time this self-doubt can even lead to resentment. if there is a lack of any communication on that particular topic. Consequently, your partner will believe that you’ll soon leave them for someone else with a stable life.
Inability To Keep Up
Mental health concerns can quite easily render an individual helpless. Whether it’s a mundane task like taking care of hygiene or something as essential as going to work. Depression impacts the course of a person’s professional and personal life. If you both share your finances together your partner might even quit their job due to their inability to keep up. This could cause an even bigger rift between a couple. Furthermore, unstable mental health might even affect their sleeping cycle and eating habits. Consequently, they will turn into a shell of a man. This could be quite different from the person who you first fell in love with and you might start regretting your decision to work things out.
Dating & Depression: How To Approach The Situation
It is essential to note down everything that affects your partner in any negative manner. So keeping your ears and eyes open should be your topmost priority while communicating with a partner struggling with depression. Make sure that you are remaining very receptive and listening to everything your partner is communicating with you. This in turn will help you educate yourself even further. Consequently, you will be able to avoid any negative consequences in the future Create a mental note of the situations, places, and people that tend to bring out the worst in your s/o.
If your partner is going through a depressive episode ask them how you can help. If they require some privacy, don’t try to be overindulgent. Furthermore instead of judging your partner based on the information they provide you on their condition try to remain as non-judgmental as possible. It’s pretty clear that your partner has zero control over the situation they are in. So the least you can do is remain as affectionate as possible if you want to make things work out together.
Don’t Play The Blame Game
Depression can be both mentally anguishing and physically frustrating. No one in their right mind wants to suffer the consequences of such a mental anomaly. That’s why it is important to remember if your partner could control it they would have done it long ago. If you’re trying to work things out with a partner struggling with depression you will lose your temper every once in a while. On one of those days, you have to remind yourself that you cannot blame your partner for their condition. The only culprit to be blamed in this situation is depression. So don’t play the blame game in any circumstances that might be mildly inconvenient for you.
Lend Emotional Support
Most of the time your partner might not ask for support. That’s because they don’t want the seem over-dependent on you considering how they already feel like a burden. This habit is more common in men yet women struggling with depression also mimic this behavior. Thus you must hold their hand on your own. Treating depression as a taboo topic and treating sufferers in a nonaffectionate manner can have adverse effects on their mental health. On the contrary affection and the support of a loved one can actually improve the course of treatment. Remind them to take their medication if they tend to forget about it. Furthermore, you can ask them whether you can join them at their doctor’s appointments. This can slightly alleviate their worries.
You’ve Got To Show Acceptance
It’s really hard for someone to admit that they’re dealing with a mental anomaly. That’s because even today people tend to treat mental health issues as a taboo topic. So if your partner is sharing this information with you it means that they trust you with a piece of information that is so essential to them. So it’s your moral and emotional obligation to be more sensitive at this crucial moment.
Learn How To Take Control When Required
If you are both managing your finances together, you can offer to take control for a limited amount of time. Under long-term depressive episodes, patients are more likely to take unhinged decisions. Their finances are among the least of their worries which is why there must be someone who can take control when required. Furthermore, if your partner has any other concerns inquire about them. Try to alleviate the chances of worry and stress as much as possible.
Create Some Space
Irritability and mood swings go hand in hand with depression. So when your partner suddenly seems to lose her/his cool it’s probably not even your fault. Under those situations make sure that you are both distancing yourself for a short while. Creating healthy boundaries is an absolutely essential part of self-love. Taking time off will also give your partner some time to cool off and get back to normal.
Educate Yourself On The Matter At Hand
Most of the general public has little to no knowledge of severe mental anomalies like depression. Furthermore, a large majority of our knowledge on these topics is based off on Hollywood films and Netflix specials. As we all know, the reality is starkly different from mental health portrayals in these virtual mediums of entertainment. You can do your research by reading annually released journals and studies done on depression. Contact your significant other’s therapist and inquire whether there’s anything you can do to make things easier for your partner. You do not want to seem nonsentimental by unintentionally doing something in front of your partner that could hurt them. People often tend to joke about this stuff that could unintentionally trigger your partner’s mental health. So, with your partner’s consent make sure that your close friends and family are aware of what you are both dealing with. In this way, they would be more open to acceptance and won’t be unintentionally triggering your partner in any way.
Dating & Depression: You Matter Just As Much
The fact that you are willing to deal with the situation at hand shows clear dedication to a single person. Nobody would judge you for fleeing the cuckoo. Yet the fact that you stayed is greatly admirable.
- While focusing on the mental health and well-being of your partner you should not be neglecting yourself. You matter just as much as your partner. Notice whether the issue at hand is taking a toll on your mental health.
- Dating a partner with depression is a very unique situation. That’s why sometimes people like you need external help to cope with this situation. Couples counseling is a great option if you want to relieve underlying triggers or undisclosed concerns. While your partner attends individual therapy sessions for depression you can both mutually agree on attending separate sessions for the betterment of your relationship. According to the American Psychological Association;
Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT), a popular method partnered with couple’s counseling is up to 75% successful.
- If things still don’t seem to be working out for you then you have to give more consideration to yourself. protecting yourself is more important than protecting someone else. There is no need to stay in a relationship that is bringing you more sorrow than happiness and you don’t have to feel guilty about it.
The bottom line is you will need some time to fill the void left by your partner’s depressive episodes in your relationship. While getting into any relationship people rarely expect that a mental health anomaly could have an impact on the course of their romance. Anyone with a successful long-term relationship would give the credits to communication and hard work. Truly enough while dealing with the aforementioned situation you will have to accept both of these habits. Although the healing process might seem far away right now the consequences will be very fruitful indeed. Make on-time treatment alongside the everlasting flow of affection your topmost priority and you’ll start thriving as a couple once again!