Loving Someone With Depression (Part 2)

When you are in a relationship, you exert an effort to support your partner. You express your love and affection in a way that your significant other can respond. But what if he or she is suffering from depression? How can it affect you and your relationship? How can you become helpful in that scary condition?

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It is not unloving to learn to maintain a distance from the depression; it may, in fact, be the only thing that keeps you healthy and available. — Angela Avery, MA, LLPC, NCC

Understanding The Situation Even If It Hurts

There are times that our loved ones – who are suffering from depression – tend to push us away. They make it hard for us to extend our help due to their emotional instability. Sometimes, they feel guilty about their situation every time we try to make them feel better. They have this mentality that nobody understands them, and everything is not going to help them. It puts pressure unto us because we know we need to be there for them, but we seem to have problems getting near them. They think they don’t need someone in their lives. They feel awful about themselves a lot of times, and because they love us, they don’t want our involvement when it comes to their mental state.

We have to understand that our loved ones need help. When they try to shut us down, we need to remember that it’s not because they don’t care about us. Our significant others only want to avoid putting their stress unto us that’s why pushing us away is the only thing they can think of doing. They feel sorry for the situation and feel bad that we have to go through it together with them. Sometimes, they only need space, so there’s no need for us to pull back. We need to remind them that we care, support, and love them at all cost.

To combat depression means taking on this internal enemy. This may involve looking into your past to help determine where these critical thoughts came from. — Lisa Firestone, Ph.D.

Draining And Upsetting But Challenging

Being in love with a person who suffers from depression is draining and upsetting. It can make us feel devastated and tired of all the struggles we encounter almost every day. In all honesty, we sometimes think about giving up. But if we do, we know we won’t be able to support the person we love. The decision making even gets to the point that we no longer want to be part of it anymore and we only want to break free from the stress that our relationship is giving us. Sometimes, we unintentionally respond to their situation in a counteractive manner, and it causes us a lot of frustration.

Though the situation might be draining, we need to remember that it’s much harder for our partners to get through with it. Therefore, caring for ourselves is essential so we can continue to support our loved ones in their struggle. We should stop thinking about fixing them but rather encourage ourselves to work on challenging things that can help them realize their significance in our lives.

No doubt, there’s good intention lurking beneath some of the things people say to those experiencing depression. Good intention, though, does little to ease pain. — Jenise Harmon, LISW-S

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Depression can make our loved ones think that the world has given up on them, so we need to assure them that we are going to stay and be there for them. For someone who battles with this kind of mental disorder, our presence is the only thing that’s needed.

Loving Someone With Depression (Part 1)


Depression is a psychological illness that affects a person’s life, and when you are in a relationship with someone who is experiencing the mental condition, everything can change. A lot of times, it is hard to understand the situation that’s why it causes us to break down and have difficulties functioning because we sometimes fail to help the person we love. We try to do things for them that we think are helpful, but they aren’t. Therefore, it is essential that we understand everything about depression for us to be able to help our significant other.

One of the worst symptoms of depression is a feeling of hopelessness. This very feeling can inhibit someone suffering from taking the steps that would help them combat their depression. — Lisa Firestone, Ph.D.

Using Encouraging Words

When we tell our loved one to look on the brighter side of things, get out from their comfort zone, and see things differently, we encourage them to be positive. The truth is, those words don’t help them at all. Our significant other’s mental condition is incomparable to having a bad day or feeling sad. We need to understand that though we may have a list of encouraging words, it’s not something that our partner can quickly adapt.   Sometimes, instead of trying to help, we even tend to give them reasons to feel more helpless and devastated about their situation.

So instead of pushing our significant others to fight the depression, it’s better to show them our support by sticking up for them. We need to let our partner know how much they mean to us and that we believe in their capability to get through all of life’s struggles. It’s important that they acknowledge our effort in making them feel better. With that said, it’s much better to provide enough reasons for them to live rather than give them options in battling the mental illness.

You may become a watcher—watching what the depressed person says, what they look like, how they acted, and what didn’t happen. You may become a detective trying to identify something that will create change and bring lightness. — Angela Avery, MA, LLPC, NCC

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Danger Of Unsolicited Advice

It’s common for us to show our support to our loved ones, but there are times that we are overdoing it. Depressed people don’t want to get advice because they know what to do. Just because we think they seem to be weak and vulnerable doesn’t mean they don’t think about solutions to their situation. We make comments and suggestions but they probably already thought about these before we even offer them. Telling someone what they should and should not do, even though it’s practically useful, are not going to help them at any cost. It only adds to their stress and frustration if they can’t execute it.

Sadly, the reaction of many people is to say simplistic and dismissive things like, “Just pray more,” “Get more exercise,” or “You just need to think yourself into a better place.”  — Jenise Harmon, LISW-S

So instead of giving unsolicited advice that makes our partner feel sorry for their situation, we can at least try to ask them what they want to do. We can talk to them about new ideas that we think might help and allow them to decide if it’s something they would like to try. It’s better to let them be in control of their lives.

It’s not an easy battle for our loved ones because it can affect us and we can affect their decisions too. So if we want to see them attain the overall development we want for them, we need to provide them the only thing they need – unconditional love.

Overlooked Symptoms Of Depression That Destroy Relationships

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The quality of our lives depends on the type of relationship we have with our spouse or significant others. It is our source of happiness and success that help us through the course of our overall development. However, on the negative side, it is also the cause of our pain and despair. And when our relationship is at stake, we tend to have difficulties in finding joy and fulfillment in almost everything. That’s why it’s not a surprise that relationships play a big role when it comes to our mental condition. So how do we know if our relationship is experiencing a rough ride due to depression? Here are the commonly overlooked signs that you need to know.

Depression doesn’t simply go away because you’ve loved more. — Angela Avery, MA, LLPC, NCC

Too Negative To Think About Anything

Depression encloses your thoughts with negativity that elevates your doubts and despair. It creates a massive influence on your mental capacity to stay on a one-sided perception. It blocks your emotional state and makes it difficult for you to appreciate things. You always complain about everything and feel like nothing seems to make you happy.

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Sensitive And Irrational

Due to depression, you question and criticize your capability to handle a relationship. You drop a high level of energy and motivation over time and tend to become sensitive to criticism. You become doubtful about your worth that’s lowering down your self-esteem. As a result, you tend to hate your job, your friends, as well as your partner.

Persistent Sadness And Fatigue

Though it’s pretty normal to feel sad and tired at some point, the persistent feeling it gives contributes to making you lose interest in things that you used to enjoy, and that includes sex. It becomes a problem in the relationship because you tend to devalue the importance of physical intimacy due to your mental state.

 Though giving up and not functioning can be the exact opposite of what’s helpful at times, other times it can be exactly what is needed for my brain to begin to heal. — Cynthia W. Lubow, MS, MFT

Constant Changes Of Interest

It is common to experience mood changes. However, the continued emotional and physical neglect towards your partner is a different story. When you are depressed, you tend to lose interest in things that you and your partner enjoy doing together. You become needy and lack the motivation to engage in your typical relationship activities such as going out on a date, shopping together, or even completing projects at home.

Developing Unexplained Irritable Mood

When you suffer from depression, you quickly get irritated with people or circumstances that previously didn’t affect your life. It concerns your relationship because you over-think up to the extent that you tend to go below the belt in demeaning your partner. It becomes easy for you to find fault that suddenly you experience random outbursts over menial occurrences.

Difficulty In Making Decisions

Depression can affect your critical thinking. You lose the balance in creating a meaningful decision due to the stress and anxiety from your mental illness. You tend to affect your partner at some point because you no longer feel the need to communicate and keep on avoiding addressing relationship issues.

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Depression is a mind/body issue and should be treated with the same self-compassion and treatment-seeking with which we would treat any major illness. — Lisa Firestone, Ph.D.

Relationship problems widely contribute to depression and vice versa. The mental condition prevents us from having the kind of blissful life that we yearn to have with our loved one. Sometimes, it even triggers issues that are somehow too impossible to address, so we need to be cautious about the mental disorder’s signs and symptoms.

How Depression Makes A Relationship Different From Others


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When it comes to a relationship, depression can become a serious issue. Sometimes, couples are not aware of the effects of the mental disorder that is why they most likely end up losing interest in each other. In severe cases, the condition damages almost every important thing that people hold on to, including their vows or commitments.

Even if you or your spouse try to accomplish hiding depression from time to time and other people notice nothing different, there will come a time when you or your partner will eventually break down. And when you happen to figure out that there is something wrong with both or either one of your psychological and emotional states, it’ll be too late to take safety measures.

For people who are depressed, this critical inner voice can have a powerful and destructive influence on their state of mind. — Lisa Firestone, Ph.D.

You As A Depressed Person

If you are the person experiencing depression, how does it affect you and your relationship? Well, essentially it is hard for you because you are in an intense level of emotional crisis. It causes you to feel sad and lonely even in little things. It affects your thoughts and changes the way you usually behave. It also makes you feel uncomfortable about yourself and hinders you to react to different kinds of situations positively. Your depression consumes your energy and leaves you with unwanted psychological and emotional illness. From there, your relationship gets affected because you mainly focus on things that do not indeed matter at all. You tend to create adverse scenarios in your head that add more pressure in all aspects of your relationship such as communication, physical connection, and emotional bond. You tend to shut down people from your life and avoid letting them in.

What resolves depression is grieving losses and traumas, changing brain chemistry, changing life circumstances, and time. — Cynthia W. Lubow, MS, MFT

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You As The Partner Of A Depressed Person

If you are the person who is in a relationship with an individual that suffers from depression, you will most likely end up feeling depressed as well. Though you might consider yourself free from the mental illness, it affects you in a way that you feel your partner’s inconsistency in the relationship. Your partner’s condition makes you think that you’re doing something wrong and that stresses you out. The situation makes you lose the confidence to create a romantic connection because you get to feel unloved and unwanted every time he or she tries to push you away. Also, your partner’s mental condition tends to agitate you, and that causes you to snap out. Sometimes, it drives you to get to a point where you potentially see the end of the commitment.

Keep in mind, also, it is common for a depressed person to not want anyone (especially a loved one) to worry, so they will often put on a good front and minimize their true feelings. — Angela Avery, MA, LLPC, NCC

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No one can expect their spouse or significant others to understand the situation of depression automatically. It is something that people tend to avoid but they could not. It causes too much damage to all aspects of people’s lives and hinders them from achieving overall development. So when couples fail to address the issue, it always ends negatively. It is safe to remember that depression requires an immediate assessment and treatment as well so couples can continue fighting for the commitment that they value.