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Depression Can Negatively Impact Your Relationships

The symptoms of depression can affect a person's life in many ways. For instance, depression not only affects your mood but thinking as well. It is common for depressed men and women to perform poorly at work because their concentration is impaired, and in turn, the ability to register and retrieve information weakens. 

Sometimes, it can be hard for a person to identify they are depressed. Yet, they might express a physical ailment, such as frequent headaches or stomachaches. Other symptoms of depression include disturbances in sleep, such as sleeping too much or very little, and/or experiencing a change in appetite. A person's consumption of food will either greatly increase or dramatically decline. 

Despite these symptoms, a person may not realize just how depression can affect a relationship. For instance, other symptoms of depression include:

•    feeling like you want to stay in bed all day
•    frequent feelings of guilt about things that aren't your fault
•    frequent crying
•    loss of interest in sex
•    decline in hygiene
•    feelings of hopelessness
•    resistance to facing emotions
•    low levels of energy and motivation

As you can imagine, these symptoms can immediately impact a relationship. In fact, if the quality of your relationship is declining, depression may be the reason behind it all.  For instance, depression may lead you to be less involved emotionally, be more irritable, resist going out, pay less attention to your partner, and lose interest in sex.

To make matters worse, depression and anxiety often exist together. In addition to feeling depressed, you might also experience anxiety. You may feel anxious about going out, getting out of bed, being at work, or doing anything that challenges you mentally. 

Because of the symptoms of depression, your relationship may be suffering. But it doesn't have to. You can take the following steps to help yourself overcome depression and repair your relationship:

1.    Talk to a therapist or psychologist. The best treatment for depression is both therapy and medication. The therapy can address the factors that may be leading to the depression, while the medication can address the imbalance of chemicals in the brain. However, a therapist or psychologist can assess the level of depression and refer you to a psychiatrist for medication. 

2.    Be open to taking medication. Although some people are resistant to taking medication, it can help you in the short term so that you're not experiencing symptoms so intensely. Once your symptoms lessen, you can go on to think about other things. Medication doesn't have to be long-term, just long enough to heal. If you're strongly opposed to medication there might be herbal and other alternative remedies to explore. 

3.    Exercise. One of the best ways to support your emotional and cognitive well being while healing from depression is to do regular exercise. Exercise has even been proven to help prevent depression. If you're staying physically active on a regular basis, you're likely to help yourself heal from depression. 

Depression is a treatable illness. If you are suffering from depression and your relationship is also suffering, there are methods to treat the illness so that your relationship also heals. 

 

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Chris Massman is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Chris' training includes Family Systems Theory along with numerous other theories. She believes therapy is an art and chooses the theory she feels will most benefit the individual sitting in front of her. Her specialty lies is in the field of Chemical Dependency and Addictions. Chris is currently seeing individuals, couples and families. Chris is a Clinical member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists as well as the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Chris has two locations including Tarzana and Agoura Hills, CA.