Depression builds walls around people and between people. When someone you love has been dragged inside those walls, there can be a distance between you both that feels relentless. Not in the way you both want to be anyway. The symptoms of depression exist on a spectrum. Not everyone who has depression will have a formal diagnosis, so knowing what to watch out for can help to make sense of the changes you might notice. Depression looks like a withdrawal. It feels that way too.
A psychologist’s advice on dealing with depression in relationships
But trying to navigate through the maze of emotions that is dating gets even harder — and can seem impossible — when you’re already grappling with a mental illness primarily affecting your emotions: depression. Because depression can severely affect a person’s ability to get up in the morning and live their lives, it can make dating — something that literally requires you to function pretty well — a little bit of a challenge to deal with.
In honor of National Mental Health Awareness Month, Elite Daily spoke to a couple of experts about how dating can change when you have depression.
You figured out how to heal yourself. But loving someone who is depressed is a very different story. I’ve been in two serious relationships with.
There is a whole subgenre of romance novels that deals with the hero saving the mentally ill heroine and curing her symptoms with just his loving presence. Starting a relationship while clinically depressed will almost certainly be more difficult than dating without depression, and no one can magically cure your symptoms.
Pursuing a romantic relationship while dealing with depression is not impossible, however. I have dated and gotten married through and in spite of depression, and have some advice for those looking to enter the dating field. It is unrealistic to believe in the fairytale that if you have a significant other, you will feel better. The only things that will help you get over your depression are time to heal, listening to the directions of a medical professional, and working hard with a therapist.
Only you can change your negative thoughts and behaviors.
8 Tips On Dating Someone With Depression
Navigating the turbulent world of dating in the 21st century is a challenge in itself, and when the dating equation involves an individual with mental illness or mental health concerns, the challenge levels up even further. Whether you are someone who is battling mental illness or someone falling for an individual with psychological concerns , the process of dating can become convoluted and confusing, when emotional instability and mental health disorders get involved.
We are living in a country wherein 7. Regardless of whether its depression, anxiety or borderline personality disorder, the lack of awareness within the community about mental health difficulties is staggering and makes things immensely difficult for those looking for love and acceptance, especially in a romantic relationship.
I will be 26 in 8 days and I have not had a boyfriend or a date in 5 and a half years. It all started when I got involved with another girl 6 years ago. I had feelings.
One in six people will experience depression at some point in their life, according to the American Psychiatric Association. That means it’s not totally unlikely that two people with depression can end up in a relationship with each other. As rates of depression continue to rise worldwide, so, too, do these double-depression relationships.
But it’s possible to have a healthy long-term relationship in these circumstances. With clear boundaries, mutual support, and robust communication, two people with depression can absolutely make it work for the long haul. Here’s what two therapists advise on how to cope when both partners have depression in a relationship. Dating with depression is challenging no matter what.
Dating Someone With Depression: Everyone Can Win
There are just a few things you should probably know. Mind has some great information. If we do something wrong, criticise our actions, not us as a person. Language is powerful in itself, but a depressed person will read into what you say, take it deeply personally, and analyse it for hours until it confirms every bad thing we think about ourselves. Be careful.
Researchers from the University of Georgia have found that teens who do not date or are not in a romantic relationship, have low depression.
In a perfect world, dating would be like a romantic comedy from the ’90s. But dating and relationships are anything but simple. Hello, adulting. Depression affects nearly 20 percent of adults in the U. So yeah, that means you might one day find yourself in a relationship with someone who’s struggling. Worth noting: Depression can strike at any time, so even if you’re in an LTR, you might one day find your partner dealing with persistent sadness, anxiety, pessimism, sudden loss of interest in normally joyous activities or decrease in energy or ongoing fatigue read more about depression here.
Just like any other struggle, depression can add stress to a relationship, says Heather Lofton, Ph. But there are some ways to navigate it while keeping your bond strong. Educating yourself on what happens when people struggle with depression can help you understand what they’re going through. Knowing what’s happening to a loved one experiencing depression can help you approach them with empathy.
But, at the same time, know that you may also feel resentful sometimes, and that’s normal. This means, rather than trying to offer solutions or talk them out of their feelings e. Compassion can go a long way to making them feel supported.
The Top 5 Realities of Dating Someone with a Mental Illness
By: Stephanie Kirby. Medically Reviewed By: Dawn Brown. Dating can be hard. Sometimes it’s difficult to find the right person, and it can also be challenging to make a relationship last through the ups and downs of life.
Long-term and meaningful relationships have never been easier. Dating for love done right.
A scan of the statistics reveals: 1 in 5 Americans will experience mental health struggles in their lifetime. Two things we can learn from conversations about dating a partner with depression:. All relationships face obstacles, some more than others. Dating someone with depression is no exception, and can even be more challenging. However, those with depression often have incredible capacities for empathy, understanding, and emotional insight, which enrich relationships.
Learn how others get through similar struggles , and make the most of your amazing partner, despite their depression. For those who have depression, the stigma surrounding their symptoms can dissuade them from dating in the first place. Depression takes arguments to a whole new level. For many with depression, sarcastic comments feel more threatening, and conflicts feel more like personal attacks. Even a small argument can seem catastrophic to someone with depression.
They may give up easily, believing your issues are unfixable, while you see an argument as a small bump on the road. Here, your communication skills will shine: remind them that the two of you are together for a reason. After reassuring them, you can come back to the issue at hand: Will you work with me, to make us work better? Your partner may not always feel depressed, and can often be warm, affectionate, and happy.
Tips for Coping With Depression in a Relationship
Dating someone with depression can be an intimidating prospect, but by understanding a few basics you can set the stage for a strong and loving relationship. By acknowledging your own needs and getting involved in their healing process , you can support both your partner and yourself as you embark on this new adventure. Starting a relationship can be an exhilarating time; everything is new and exciting and there is so much to discover.
Everyone feels sad from time to time, but depression is different than normal mood fluctuations. Understanding the reality of depression is vital to being a good ally as you embark on your relationship.
Trying to navigate through the already complicated dating world gets even more complicated when you’re living with depression.
If you are in a relationship with someone who has depression, you are likely struggling with a mix of emotions and hosts of questions. What’s it really like to feel depressed? What can you do to help them through hard times? How will their symptoms and treatment impact your relationship? While every person’s experience with depression is unique, here are a few things you can do to help your loved one and yourself.
A great way to support your loved one is to learn everything you need to know about depression, including its causes, symptoms, and treatments. Ask your partner’s doctor for some reputable sources that provide the facts about depression, or do a quick search yourself on the Internet. You can start with the following reputable sources:.
There are many myths about depression. For example, depression is not simply the result of laziness or weakness.