Relationship Difficulties and Depression


Depression often negatively affects an individual and their relationships.

Depression, along with other major mental illnesses, has a significant impact on one’s entire person, including jobs, family, social interactions, and community engagement.  This week, we’re going to focus on what to do if you, or the one you love, is experiencing major depression and how to safeguard your relationship.

Due the varying nature of depression, its duration, onset, and severity, it’s difficult to pinpoint every possible scenario.  It’s also important to remember this article as a guide rather than the complete picture.

Helping Someone With Depression

  1. Find supportive ways to communicate love and empathy with your loved one.  Depression can distort one’s value and worth in such a way that an individual is left wondering if what they do makes any difference.  Sometimes, just being there with someone while they are having a hard time is enough.  Stay away from the “tough love” approach unless the person indicates that it’s helpful and wanted.  If so, remember to check-in occasionally to see if that’s still the case and to mix in lots of love that’s not so tough.

  1. Offer help if it’s wanted.  Listen first and inquire if there’s anything you can do to help.  It’s easy to get sucked into “the helper” or “the fixer” role, which can become a hidden trap.  Be on guard against needing the other person to be different or to act differently in order for you to be happy and fulfilled.  It’s not your responsibility to make someone else feel happy.

  1. Take care of yourself so that you can be a source of patience and affirmation.  Although being close to someone with depression can be draining, it’s important to remember to do some self-care so that your batteries can be charged.  If you find yourself getting run down, see what you can do to alter your own routines so that you can stay fresh.  In any crisis, the first job of the responder is to make sure they are OK.

  1. Remember that mental health recovery is often cyclic in nature, rather than a linear progression.  Just because someone had a good week doesn’t mean that it’ll repeat next week.  If someone does good at one particular social occasion on a certain day, it doesn’t mean it’ll happen again on the next day.

If your significant relationships are struggling as a result of depression or any other major mental illness and want to learn more about how to best deal with it and move forward, give us a call today.  We offer a range of services including medication management, therapy, and psychiatry all in one office.