The sadness and despair of depression can weigh on you like a heavy coat.
In fact, your depression keeps you smothered.
Yet, it can also act as a barrier toward others, and thus, have a tremendously devastating impact on your relationships. The hard part is that it’s difficult to connect the dots between how your depression impacts others in your life.
This means that, most likely, your depression is damaging your relationships even more than you realize.
While it may be a hard thing to face, part of getting the help you need is first understanding the effects of depression on these relationships.
There are five key issues to be aware of.
1. A Reputation for Negativity
For one thing, when you have depression it’s incredibly difficult to see the positive in things. Even a beautiful spring day may not do anything for you.
Why does this happen?
It actually has to do with your brain chemistry. There just isn’t the right balance in areas of your brain that influence your mood. Thus, you are always feeling down, low in energy, and just can’t get excited about anything.
Unfortunately, other people around you can easily misinterpret your actions. They just see the negativity and don’t understand there are deeper issues at work. In the end, though, it’s you who has to deal with the consequences, even though, to some degree, it’s not your fault.
2. When Negativity Strikes Romantic Relationships
This pervasive negativity of depression causes especially damaging effects to your romantic relationships.
Your partner may have the most positive attitude in the world. And they may be very understanding of the fact that you have depression. However, the energy of even the most positive person can be worn down by depression.
It’s not that they don’t care. It may simply be hard for them to make the connection that depression is more than just being unhappy.
Depression has to do with both the complex workings of your brain and your emotions. You just can’t snap out of it by flipping a switch and changing your mood on the spot.
3. Casting Blame
Few things damage a relationship more than when one person blames another. Unfortunately, blame is a common occurrence for those with depression. You feel so poorly that you want to find someplace to put those emotions. And so, your partner becomes the target.
Nobody likes being blamed for something, especially if it wasn’t their fault in the first place.
Adding to that may be that you’re lashing out at your partner, saying things that you regret later. And when one partner casts blame, it sets off a chain reaction. Unless your partner has a very high tolerance, they will probably lash back at you.
As you can see, this vicious cycle can spell certain doom for any romantic relationship.
4. Your Partner Reaches Their Limit
Everyone has their breaking point when it comes to stress, blame, and negativity. This is true both for you and your partner.
For most people, they just can’t stand being with someone who either draws in or directs out so much negative energy. Thus, when they have reached their limit, they walk.
What happens to you?
Their leaving only reinforces your depression. Essentially, it affirms your negative views about the world and how others treat you. Worse, you probably don’t even realize that the effect of your depression on the relationship comes from you, not from them.
5. A Cycle of Broken Relationships
If you do not get treatment for your depression, you could find yourself in a cycle of broken relationships. You go from one relationship to another, never fully understanding why things don’t work out.
In the end, this vicious cycle can have the effect of only solidifying a worldview that affirms your depression.
That’s not to say that if you leave your depression untreated, you will never have a satisfying relationship. However, it certainly makes it much more difficult.
So, what’s the solution for coping with the effects of depression on your relationships?
The answer is getting therapy for depression. Therapy can help you put a halt on how depression damages your relationships by making it less difficult to connect. It will help you to shrug off that heavy coat so that you no longer have to carry that burden.
If you would like to know how my approach to depression therapy could help you, please contact me or read more HERE.