Anyone who’s had depression knows that it’s extremely frustrating, painful and difficult to figure out what’s going on.
For instance, when you are in a romantic relationship, trying to manage your depression and your relationship can feel like an “emotional overload.” Ideally, we want our significant other to be happy in the relationship…but how can we truly do this if we ourselves aren’t happy? I’ve heard from so many people how instinctual it feels to try and put on a “happy face” and just “going along to get along,” but the truth is your loved ones know that this isn’t authentic.
Your significant other will probably say to you things like “what’s wrong?” or “you don’t seem like you are really here with me…” or “you don’t seem like yourself.” Typically, your partner will personalize your depression and think it is something they are doing wrong or accuse you of falling out of love.
Depression is a difficult emotional condition for others to understand, and, clearly the impact is significant in relationships. Often, it just exacerbates the depression with feelings of being a burden and low self-worth.
Here are three steps that you can take to improve your relationship if you are dealing with depression:
1. Be honest with your partner about your TEMPORARY condition. Communication is imperative in all relationships, so it is essential for you to let your partner know what is going on with you so he or she can hopefully be more sensitive about your present emotional state. Let them also know you are committed to working through it.
2. Get help! Although you may not feel motivated or have a desire to go see a therapist, this is still a very important step in your healing process. Like the saying goes “Do something lest you do nothing.” Let’s face it, how do you expect to feel better if you aren’t doing anything to address it?
3. Engage in self-care DESPITE how you feel. This is a tough one because depression CAN get so bad that you don’t even feel like moving, let alone engaging in any personal hygiene. However, we have the power to take action despite how we feel. Be willing to action toward a better you!
Depression is an emotional condition, but it is not WHO you are!