Severe Depression and Relationships: How to Redirect Self-Doubt and Criticism – Bridges to Recovery
Researchers at the University of Michigan looked at risk factors for depression in romantic relationships and found that a lack of social support outside of the. Feb 10, Every relationship – and every experience of depression – is suffer with depression often put on a 'mask' to help them face the outside world. This extreme version of self that may surface affects not only your actions within the relationship, but your behavior outside it as well. In a discussion on my.
Next, I explained to him what my depression looked like. That when I was depressed I felt like I had a gorilla on my back. Moving around, getting things done, communicating effectively, all required such a Herculean effort that I could barely manage. When I was depressed, I was exhausted, easily angered, and prone to long bouts of crying.
Severe Depression and Relationships: How to Redirect Self-Doubt and Criticism
The better understanding they have of your depression the better they will be able to deal with and cope with it. A key part of dealing with depression for me and for my husband was to have a plan in place for what I needed when I was depressed. I knew from past experience what I needed to get through my depression, but sharing it with my partner was the key. For me, when I get depressed I need four things: I knew that those things would not cure my depression but that they made living with it easier.
So, when I was NOT currently depressed and able to think and strategize more clearly, my husband and I made a plan for what to do when I was depressed. We would let me sleep in, go for a hike, get Pad Thai, have sex, and send me back to sleep. We would do that or some variation of that to stay connected while I was depressed, so he could help me get through it. Many people want to fix things. So, you have talked to your partner about your depression and made a plan for what you need when you are in it.
Both of those things are great. You are short-tempered and difficult and not fun to be with. At times like that, let your partner go. Let them go about their day, guilt-free. The last thing in the world you want to do is tether someone you love to your depression.
Encourage your partner to go do something they love instead of hanging around being miserable with you. If you let them do this they will come home refreshed and better able to support you. And they might even bring you some Pad Thai.
Agree to Seek Help. One of the hardest things for someone who loves someone with depression is their sense of helplessness. They know that there is nothing that they can do to help their partner get out of this dark place, and that sense of helplessness can tear relationships apart.
So what can you do? You can agree to seek help for dealing with your depression. That help can be what you want it to be: A critical benefit of caring outside perspective, such as that of a counselor or therapist, is that it can help someone with major depressive disorder to see the filter of depression for what it is: When a therapist helps a client to step back and see the disorder for what it is and how it operates on their mind, thoughts, and emotions, they can begin to take some of the power away from that depression filter.
The more someone can remember that it is the disorder weighing down their view and experience of the world, the more they can be aware of alternative perspectives and have hope for a future of recovery. Along with comprehensive treatment for the individual, couples therapy can help ground partners with tools and coping strategies to manage the presence of pessimism, doubt, and criticism.
5 Ways You Can Have a Healthy Relationship When You Have Depression
With the support of therapy, a couple can identify needs of both partners and develop strategies for balancing and fulfilling those needs. A therapist can help them to create reasonable expectations and actionable steps, especially when criticism or other conflict arises. Both partners can feel more secure, knowing that they are not alone and that they have accessible tools for managing the sometimes overwhelming effects of depression.
Someone with depression—indeed, all of us need to feel secure within ourselves and in the context of a relationship. The keys to a confident connection are open communication and a productive balance between space and togetherness.
A relationship is always evolving, as are we as individuals, as is depression.