Depression sucks. There is no easier way to say it.
Not only does it prevent you from living your life the way you want, it also makes relationships incredibly difficult to maintain.
Dealing with depression in relationships offers a unique set of challenges that not everybody will be open to talking about. After all, feeling empty, unmotivated, anxious, or pessimistic are hardly ideal circumstances for those looking to build relationships & life their best lives.
Don’t despair. Love is out there. The journey to get there will be more challenging, but it is possible.
For those suffering from mental health issues, here are 7 truths about depression and how to find the light at the end of the tunnel.
7 Ugly Truths about Depression and Mental Illnesses
1. You Feel Alone, Even When You’re Not
One of the most frustrating parts of dealing with depression in relationship is how alone you feel, even when someone else is in the room with you.
You know your spouse loves you, but you still can’t shake the feeling that you’re unworthy of love and affection or that nobody understands you. This can cause you to develop a pessimistic view of the people around you.
Combat this harmful thinking by forming one simple habit. At the end of each day, write down one or more things you are grateful for. Did someone smile at you on your way to work? Your friend did or said something thoughtful? Your spouse was there to hug you when you came home or listen to you talk about your day?
Keeping an appreciation journal can be a wonderful reminder of how many people there are in your life who care about you.
2. Anything Can Trigger You
When you suffer with mental health issues, certain actions, phrases, or feelings can trigger painful memories or anxiety attacks. This is a stressful and hurtful process that can take days to come down from.
It could be a song on the radio, a certain look on your partner’s face, or seemingly nothing at all. Whatever the case, knowing what your triggers are can be helpful in avoiding unnecessary stress and sadness.
3. It’s Difficult to Be in a Relationship
Not only does this cause the person suffering from mental health disorders to feel guilty, but it can also be incredibly frustrating for the other spouse in the relationship.
Sex is an important way for couples to connect on an emotional and physical level. Not only is it a fun way to reduce stress, but studies show that the more enjoyable sex a couple has, the more likely they are to verbalize their love for one another. Further studies show that sexual satisfaction was the largest predictor in heightened emotional intimacy in couples.
The most common antidepressants, called selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), can have a negative impact on your sex drive and lower libido significantly. This can make sex sound unappealing for those suffering from depression.
Those dealing with mental health problems should not give up on the prospect of love. When you find the person who you are meant to be with, they will be able to handle your emotional journey and will love you for all that you are, not in spite of it.
4. There is a Stigma Around Depression
The National Institute of Mental Health reports that more than 10-million Americans suffer from some form of mental health issue. Even with all of these reported cases of depression, the negative stigma for those with mental health issues still exist.
Some may say, “You’re not depressed, you’re just sad. You’ll get over it.” Others may even say “You’re just using your depression as a way to get out of working.”
Do not listen to such negative talk. Focus only on the opinions of those that matter – your spouse and close friend and family. They are the ones who know you, love you, and see firsthand what you are really going through.
5. Everyday Tasks Seem Impossible
Depression can make you feel zapped of all your energy. Even something as simple as taking a phone call or bringing your coffee cup back into the kitchen can make you feel absolutely exhausted.
The bright side is that there are plenty of steps you can take to reclaim your life. Taking small, baby steps each day can help you reach your next goal. Start slow. Get up, brush your teeth. Then, if you’re able, go downstairs and make breakfast.
Focus on small goals and don’t overwhelm yourself. Instead, acknowledge daily achievements and be proud of yourself for taking small steps toward returning to regular daily routines.
6. Depression = Selfish?
It’s hard not to think about yourself when you feel like there is a constant, heavy weight on your shoulders. Work hard not to let this darkness swallow you whole. Such behavior can make it difficult to maintain friendships and a romantic relationship.
In times when you are feeling especially drawn into yourself, verbally remind your spouse how much you love and appreciate their support and care for you. Ask open-ended questions about them to draw them out and remind them that you care about what is going on in their lives, as well.
Volunteering can also be a great way to boost your mood, according to Harley Therapy Counseling. Volunteering can create a change in thought patterns that can turn negative outlooks into positive ones.
7. Getting Help Can Be Difficult
When dealing with mental health issues or depression, it can be difficult to come out and say it. But, getting help is essential for you to live your best life possible.
Therapy can be healing to your body and soul. It can also do wonders for restoring your romantic relationship and other social connections. A therapist can also help you understand tools you can use to help combat the side-effects of depression.
Conclusion: Dealing with depression is hard, no matter which side of the coin you’re on. But, that should never stop anyone dealing with mental health issues from chasing after the love of their life.
Don’t give up on love and keep fighting to live your best life , one day at a time.
Keep going. Make today count.