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My boyfriends depression is ruining our relationship

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No one teaches us how to navigate a relationship when mental illness or depression enters the equation. I recently read a Washington Post article by a woman whose relationship was torn apart while she and her partner tried to deal with his depression. Last year when I plunged into a depressive episode during our relationship, my partner was at a loss. He had never dealt with this and wanted so badly to help, but had no idea what to do. Sure we hit bumps along the road, but in the end I felt loved, supported, and understood in a way I never had before during a depressive episode, and he felt like he knew what was going on—a big deal in this situation—and was equipped to deal with it.

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: 5 Tips for Dating with a Mental Illness - Kati Morton

A psychologist’s advice on dealing with depression in relationships

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No one teaches us how to navigate a relationship when mental illness or depression enters the equation. I recently read a Washington Post article by a woman whose relationship was torn apart while she and her partner tried to deal with his depression.

Last year when I plunged into a depressive episode during our relationship, my partner was at a loss. He had never dealt with this and wanted so badly to help, but had no idea what to do. Sure we hit bumps along the road, but in the end I felt loved, supported, and understood in a way I never had before during a depressive episode, and he felt like he knew what was going on—a big deal in this situation—and was equipped to deal with it.

It operates on the notion that the not-depressed partner is wonderful and selfless for standing by the partner with depression. They should therefore feel so lucky their partner is generously taking them on—ergo, broken and lucky.

This means trying to follow their lead. Listening more than you talk. Trusting each other. Believing your partner or spouse when they describe their symptoms. Learning about what depression is. Meeting your partner where they are. Being open to communicating differently. Someone dealing with depression is living in a whole different world. Getting angry at them for not showing up for you the same way they did before a depressive episode struck is like getting mad at your dog for not being ice cream—futile, frustrating, and kind of mean.

One of the first things I taught my partner was the Spoon Theory. Created by Christine Miserandino whom I consider the patron saint of folks with chronic invisible ailments , the Spoon Theory gave my partner a concrete understanding of my limited physical, mental, and emotional resources, as well as a simple language with which to ask about them.

The other resource that we found most helpful in understanding the unique language around depression was, well, a video game! When my partner first played it, he called me, sounding shaken. I told him yes, and he admitted that depression was so much harder, scarier, and more frustrating than it looks from the outside.

Depression looks different from person to person and even from episode to episode , but I have never seen anything else evoke the feelings of depression the way that game does. It can make us people who get angry easily.

When your partner feels like they are ruining your plans, not fun to be around, crying yet again, both may kick in. Then repeat. A lot. Do you need me to bring you anything before I go? I was lucky heading into my last episode, because I am an introvert in a long distance relationship with a pretty intense extrovert, so we were already used to socializing separately. This is especially true for partners who live together.

Here are a few tips for managing seasonal depression. The solution here is so simple, though: take responsibility for your own social life. Make the plans you want to make, let your partner know they are welcome to join, but wherever they are is okay remember? You may need to discuss this idea with your partner if separate socializing is new for you, but ultimately, this can lift a whole lot of strain off of you both of you and your relationship, while giving you each much-needed self-care time.

This is a lot of work for one person, and you are doing some serious heavy-lifting by supporting a depressed partner in a relationship. What about when you need someone to be your soft landing place and during a period of time when your partner just CANNOT do it?

Make sure you have your own support network. Hopefully your partner has a therapist, and you may want to consider one for yourself. Overall, when it comes to navigating depression in relationships together, think about what will make you each stronger. These ideas are all about standing in solidarity with your partner, validating them when they feel vulnerable, and ensuring support for yourself.

When we talk about depression and relationships, we tend to talk about frustration, anger, and confusion. I firmly believe getting on the same page with one another can remedy a whole lot of that, because I believe people have more capacity for empathy and mutual support than we give them credit for.

This article was originally published on YourTango ; republished with the kindest permission. Looking for real talk about the most important relationships in your life? Who isn't! YourTango is our go-to destination for cathartic love advice, sexy tips, brave personal essays, and an amazing network of experts who solve our trickiest dilemmas.

Whether you're single, married, divorced, or in-between, the online magazine is not afraid to cover the stuff we all think, but don't say out loud.

Also, the articles and hilarious memes on their Facebook page bring tears to our eyes! The literature on what to do or what NOT to do can feel a little cloudy. Our experiment worked! This unhealthy model only results in anger, resentment, and destroyed relationships. Clearly, it means a lot of things. Create a Common Language. Find a Support System for Yourself. What about when you need to vent? How do you stop that from filling you with frustration and resentment?

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Relationships and depression

These forums are a place where you can ask other young people advice on dealing with tough times and share your advice on what has worked for you. Please remember that it does not replace professional advice. Join the online community Login to post. I have been with my partner for a year, and although all relationships have their ups and downs I can honestly say we have had the greatest year, with love, laughter, great holidays, understanding and support and open communication about everything. I knew my partner used to speak to someone a few years ago but that is all I knew, I also have gotten professional help once for some life direction at a time where I was a little lost but I was never clinically depressed or anxious.

Depression affects one in five people in the UK and is an illness that, thankfully, people are beginning to understand better as awareness grows. Less understood, however, are the ways in which depression can affect relationships and how your relationships can help you manage depression. Strong and healthy relationships have the potential to help us cope with the symptoms of depression - and, in some circumstances, can be a big influence on whether a person becomes depressed.

Copyright Shannon Kolakowski. If your relationship is struggling, depression may be the culprit. A resounding body of research has shown how closely depression is related to relationships in a cyclical fashion: depression affects the quality of your relationships, and the features of your relationship can affect your level of depression 1 , 2 , 3. In other words, being depressed can cause you to pay less attention to your partner, be less involved, be more irritable or have trouble enjoying time together—all of which can cause your relationship to falter. On the other hand, relationship problems such as high conflict, lack of communication, withdrawal, and difficulty resolving problems, can all lead to depression.

The Warning Signs That Depression is Affecting Your Relationship

It is an active noun, like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now. And since the love you feel for others is a reflection of the love you feel for yourself, this is why you feel disconnected. And this can be a problem in a relationship. Not them being critical of you. The salt scenario is made up, in case you were wondering, but the level of silliness is about right. And so it is when you talk to a depressed person you have a depressed conversation. In fact, depression can be almost as challenging for loved ones as it is for the person who is depressed. My mind has some strange thoughts going through it.

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Depression is a difficult illness that darkens your thoughts and feelings. It saps your self-esteem, energy, motivation and interest in anything. Symptoms such as anger and irritability can create tension between partners. Depression is a master manipulator.

Depression Part Two by Allie Brosh. Depression is not incompatible with finding love or someone to spend the night with but it does present certain challenges.

My boyfriend of over three years has recently been diagnosed with depression and our sex life is virtually non-existent. A lot of the time people mistake it for sadness or even dissatisfaction, but the truth is that depression, and sometimes chronic depression, can take a huge chunk out of your life. Whether that means taking prescriptive medication, using alternative healing, or seeing a mental health professional, the world is more equipped now than it was a few years ago in dealing with it.

Tips for Coping With Depression in a Relationship

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community. He is on medication but it took a long time to find the right one and he's recently had to increase the dose as the depression has returned. He copes by drinking, which we all know doesn't fix anything but he tells me its the only thing that calms him.

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.

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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.

Mar 6, - Adapted from When Depression Hurts Your Relationship: How To Regain Intimacy and Reconnect with Your Partner When You're Depressed.

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My boyfriend’s depression is ruining our love life

Karen S. She no longer enjoyed her favorite activities, preferring to spend weekends sleeping in and watching TV. Their sex life was nonexistent. If you experience five or more symptoms for at least two weeks, you could have clinical depression, also known as major depression.

My Depression Is Ruining My Relationship: Withdrawal & Lack of Sex

Depression famously sucks the joy out of everything in our lives, including our most important relationships. When this happens, we often feel withdrawn and empty. We consider ourselves incapable or undeserving of love, convinced we are a burden on the people around us. This is the illness talking; not the truth.

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When Someone You Love Has Depression

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How Depression Damages Your Relationship & What You Can Do

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