Depression in Relationships: When to Say Goodbye
Watching your husband/boyfriend or wife/girlfriend fight depression is an isolating illness that can negatively impact relationships and leave. In When Depression Hurts Your Relationship, Kolakowski shares valuable and practical tools and techniques to help readers rebuild their bond. When you date a man with depression, it can become a struggle to maintain a relationship with him and protect your own mental health.
You have the power to make it work if you both want to.
Sometimes this involves finding tools and techniques to help. Some of the suggestions for managing really difficult times in relationships include ones using numbers to help you communicate when you're not feeling up to a long conversation.
Deciding what the numbers mean 1 might be 'I'm just about doing ok, but could use some love today so be patient with me' and 5 might be 'I'm really struggling, I don't even feel able to talk about it but I need you with me today so much I need you to prioritise me over other plans' and then using them to communicate how you feel could help when, in the moment, you're not able to put it into words.
Another tactic if you are struggling to put everything you want to say into words is to try writing it down. It might feel odd initially to hand your partner a letter or send them an email when you live in the same house - but you might find that it works. You have more time to formulate what you want to say and they have more time to absorb it and work out how they feel about it. These techniques might not work for you but my point is that you shouldn't feel odd about using whatever does.
It's actually a really normal and healthy way to negotiate difficult times effectively.
Severe Depression and Relationships: How to Redirect Self-Doubt and Criticism
On a slightly different note - be prepared and open to trying things that you might not think is 'you'. This might be a mindfulness course or some counselling - as a couple or individually. Finding new spaces and ways of managing and talking about how to strengthen your couple 'team' can be really valuable - and in ways you don't always expect. Enlist the help of your partner in helping you to recognise when you're struggling and reminding you it won't last forever - and don't disregard it when they do.
In a previous blog entry, I wrote about how when you are in the midst of a depressive episode it's hard to imagine that you will ever feel better. You can't remember what it feels like to feel good. You often need help in this state to be reminded about what feeling better feels like.
Your partner can help with this. When they do remind you it's very easy to push it aside - that's what depression makes you do. But try and remember to listen to them - even if in the moment you can't genuinely believe what they are saying. Knowing your partner knows you and wants the best for you means it is easier to trust them when they are encouraging you that taking a shower, taking a walk, going for a run or attending your appointment is actually a good move.
- Depression in Relationships: When to Say Goodbye
- How Depression Damages Your Relationship & What You Can Do
- 5 Signs That Depression Is Eroding Your Relationship
Similarly, a partner can help you to notice when you are showing the warning signs of a relapse - especially if you identify what these are and put them up on a list somewhere. Identifying the warning signs is a useful exercise for you both.
Read up on it and ask about it. There are loads of useful resources both on and offline which can help you both to understand the issues and how you can help each other.
If you find something that seems to make sense to you or describes how you feel or the interactions you have as a couple - share it with your partner.
There are also loads of forums and support groups that can help.
This leads me on to; Look for support from others. As a couple, you will be managing depression or anxiety as part of your relationship. You can respond with encouraging statements: They might not understand the symptoms of depression and think that their feelings are just something they have to endure.
All too often, people feel that they just have to will themselves better, but depression seldom improves without treatment. You can help your partner by encouraging treatment and being there during appointments. Help your partner consider getting treatment by doing the following: Express your willingness to help, including making and preparing for appointments. Talk about treatment options, including psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle changes.
Changes in lifestyle can make a big difference during the treatment process. Focus on healthy eating. Get your partner involved in planning and cooking healthy meals together to encourage better food choices. Daily exercise can boost your mood.5 Tips for Dating with a Mental Illness
Plan a daily walk or bike ride to inspire getting back to exercise. Help your partner stick with treatment. Whenever possible, drive to appointments together and sit in the waiting room. Psychotherapy can be emotionally exhausting in the early stages. Create a low stress environment. Routines can help depressed people feel more in control of their day-to-day lives. I am so tired and exhausted by all this and I am so sad when I look back at nine years of nice and terrible times alike.
A relationship should not be THAT hard, or should it?
Stay or go? Life with a depressed partner
I no longer know what to do. I love him but I feel there has been a lot of damage done and most of all, I am just not sure I can continue living my life with a person that seems never happy or satisfied for long. It is like constantly driving on a bumpy road and occasionally you get some patches of smooth ride. I feel I have given my best but I am worried that I will give my needs up for something that will never get better.