How Does Depression Affect Relationships?
Depression is the most common mental illness across the world. According to research, it is estimated that millions of people suffer from depression each year, and each individual faces depression at least once in their lifetime. Hence, it is a very common problem that everyone has to face in their life. Now the question arises, how does depression affect relationships?
Impact of depression on our mood
According to DSM-V, the gold standard statistical manual of mental disorders, depression is a mood disorder. When a person experiences depression, they can face the following conditions;
- Low mood
- Little or low motivation
- Sadness and gloominess prevail
- Suicidal ideation
- Loss of appetite
- Disturbed sleep pattern
- Feeling tired and sick
As one can imagine, these conditions are very dire for a person. It is common to lose hope, and these issues reflect in all aspects of a person’s life.
Let’s take a look specifically at the impact of depression on relationships.
1. Feeling hopeless about your relationship
Relationships are all about hope and a better outlook on the future. Whenever we meet someone and want to move into a relationship, our dream is to spend our future with that person. We start fantasizing about our future and lives together if we like them.
However, depression takes that away from us. A depressed person is very less likely to be hopeful about their relationship. Without hope, it is tough for a relationship to survive. When we would feel hopeless about our relationship, subsequently, it would affect our relationships massively.
2. Diminished or non-existent sex-life
Depression causes decreased libido. A major part of a healthy relationship is healthy sex life. It is extremely important, and psychologists stress a lot about a happy sex life. However, when depression kicks in, the individual is not likely to participate or take an interest in sexual intercourse. They would also get less romantic than usual. He/she might try to satisfy or fulfill the desires of their partners, but it also leads to sadness.
The poor sex life would cause both partners to feel irritated and annoyed. Hence, the base of the relationship would tremble.
3. Feeling uninterested in your partner
Healthy relationships require both individuals to take an interest in each other. This means they should care and worry about whatever is going on with their partner. Asking them about their day and what problems they are facing at work makes all the difference.
Depression causes people to lose interest in everything going on in their lives. This behavior also includes their relationship. When one person in a relationship takes very little interest in their relationship, their relationship starts to suffer.
4. Workplace relationships
Another important part of our life is our workplace. An average individual spends around 8 hours at their work. When you spend this much time in a place with some people every day, your mental health needs to have a healthy relationship with your co-workers.
Depressed individuals have a hard time completing their work requirements and meeting their deadlines. This discrepancy causes their workplace relationships to take a hit. The co-workers feel that the depressed individual is a burden on the organization.
5. Family and friends’ relationship
Like all the other relationships in our lives, family is an important and integral part of our lives. A happy family produces happy individuals.
Depression also affects our relationships with our friends and family. Our family and friends worry for us, and they would most likely notice the change in our behavior. However, friends might get tired of the continuous lack of interest and low effort in maintaining a healthy relationship in the long run.
6. Lack of communication and vulnerability
We have heard that “communication is the key to a healthy relationship.” This is true as many relationship counselors say that relationships suffer due to the lack of or poor communication. They try to build strong and consistent communication among the partners.
Depression causes the person to lose all the motivation to continue a relationship and put in efforts to sustain communication. When the bridge of communication breaks, it directly affects a relationship.
How to tackle depression and save your relationship?
If you or your partner are suffering from depression, you need to ask yourself, “do I want to give up on my relationship because of my depression?”. The state of depression will not last a lifetime, but it may lead you to lose a person you have loved for a lifetime.
If you are suffering from depression
If you are suffering from depression, it is important to identify the symptoms and acknowledge your condition. The next step is to try to inform your partner about your condition and seek professional help.
If your partner is suffering from depression
If your partner is suffering from depression, it is your responsibility to stick with them through their tough times. You should ensure them that you are with them. Please encourage them to seek help and treatment.
Remember that you might not beat depression on your own, but with the help of your loved ones, you can beat depression and make your relationship work.
Depression is a very common yet highly treatable mental condition. It can affect your relationships drastically. Hence, we encourage our readers to identify the symptoms of depression and its effects on relationships, seek treatment and therapy so you can beat depression, and your relationship and love can survive.