DEPRESSION RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS.
There is no doubt relationships do become strained when one person within a family or relationship has depression or an illness.
Illness of any sort puts a strain not just on the more personal side of a relationship, but the possibilities of having honest open communications about how to support each other.
Yes! – I said “supporting each other” because depression of a family member does have repercussions due to their behavior and attitude. Their negative outlook on life can very quickly put you on a downer and feeling negative.
If your relationship is built on a strong foundation there is more potential for your relationship to survive this difficult time, but for some the pressure maybe too much.
Learning how to support each other at this time and meet each other’s needs will be crucial.
WHEN ‘I’ BECOMES ‘WE’ – EVEN ‘ILLNESS’ BECOMES ‘WELLNESS’.
There are two factors to take into consideration when dealing with depression within a relationship.
- The first one is from the perspective of the sufferer.
- The second is from the perspective of the individual or whoever is nearest to that person, whether Mother, daughter, son, husband, wife, partner etc.
The Partner or Family Member. Click on Images For More Info.
It will be hard to see your loved one sitting around not bothering how they look, looking miserable, unhappy, and all attempts or encouragement falling on deaf ears.
You try to understand what the problem is but you cannot comprehend how someone who is presenting themselves as sad and unmotivated cant just see what you see and can’t get their act together?
But… when they are saying they can’t get out of bed, and they don’t feel like a shower, they don’t feel like they want to eat etc. Quite often in the very serious suicidal cases, it’s not because they won’t it’s because they can’t.
It saps you of all energy and motivation.
You feel frustrated may feel you are responsible and even that you have something to do with how they are feeling, either because they say you are or or because you feel guilty you cant help them and make it right.
Look after yourself, and your needs without feeling guilty about it.
Manage your stress through exercise, even if it’s just a brisk walk for half an hour a day.
Therapy can be of great help, and any form of relaxation such as massage or listening to relaxation music.
Make sure you feel supported by reaching out to friends and family, and even look for a support group for yourself that supports someone who lives with someone with depression.
Advice to the Partner or Family Member
There is nothing logical to depression,
If logic had anything to do with it, wouldn’t you think intelligent funny successful people (and all sufferers of depression) like Robin Williams, Winston Churchill, Jim Carrey, Harrison Ford to name a few would be able to have worked it out.
Don’t try and fix or try and take on the responsibility of fixing your loved ones depression, because you won’t be able to, it will be solely down to them.
If they try to lay the responsibility onto you for their healing and happiness, then it becomes co-dependency, due to not wanting to take responsibility for their own healing.
Be compassionate, caring and sympathetic, but don’t ever think you will be able to change the way they are feeling.
What you can do is find as much information as possible either from a library, online or talking to a Doctor or therapist.
This just might help you understand how best to support them.
Just sitting and listening is important for someone with depression to have. It’s not about giving advice, even though you could encourage them to seek treatment, it’s about being supportive and a good listening ear without judgment.
A big symptom of depression is hopelessness and helplessness, so it is not unusual for them to lean on you and try and make you responsible for their healing, or even the polar opposite, and shut you out.
There is a lot of help out there, a lot, but my advice in the first instance is to get them to make an appointment with their GP.
Go with them if that’s what they want, show you care and are supporting them.
To the Sufferer of Depression.
Relationships can struggle when you have depression because your view of the world is distorted, and I don’t have to tell you that everything, and I mean everything is such hard work and in particular maintaining your part within in a relationship to keep it healthy.
Not easy when you just want to be on your own, do nothing, sit and watch TV, eat crap food, or just sleep and lose yourself in the feelings of hopelessness.
You force a smile when it’s the last thing you want to do, and getting yourself motivated to do any task, cook a meal tidy the house or even bathe yourself is like climbing a mountain.
That leaves you battling with the idea that you think people will think it’s due to laziness.
All this while you are aware your partner or family member is getting more impatient with you, maybe even to the point of avoiding you.
No marriage will ever survive the idea that your happiness is down to your partner. This is asking a lot of the other person. Ultimately it will be the downfall of your relationship because only you have the answers to your healing.
Your anxieties are made worse by the fear they might even leave you.
Knowing your struggle is testing for your partner, that in turn causes you to doubt their love for you and adds to your depression and anxiety.
I don’t need to tell you that any pressure from whatever source at this time just helps you to sink further into yourself. So your partner or anyone else getting on your case just makes you more resentful and pushes you further away from them.
This next statement will seem as if I am unsympathetic or uncaring, but you must know that you do have a responsibility to your self and your love ones to seek out help.
I think family or partners are more supportive and understanding if they see you are actively looking for help. It gives them the message that you are serious about healing and showing the importance of your relationships.
If you are not looking to find help, for whatever reason that is when you need to be honest with yourself …why?
What are you frightened off?
· Is there a payoff for staying depressed? i.e. you wont have someone “caring” for you anymore.
· You believe you are not responsible for your healing?
· You wont have the attention of a particular person any more?
· Being ill is now your “normal” and safer?
There is no doubt it takes a commitment and a lot of work to get better but the rewards are endless.
Action for a Positive Reaction.
I speak from experience when I tell you that exercise is as good as taking any anti depressant pills to helping you feel better.
But probably it will be the last thing you feel like doing especially as you may never have exercised for some time – or for that matter ever at all.
But I am not necessarily talking about going to the gym, if that is not your thing, just a brisk walk for half an hour a day is incredibly beneficial for you, or equally beneficial is swimming dancing or even gardening etc.
Your physical health can have a great impact on your emotional health so diet also plays an important part in your recovery.
Diet and exercise is an extremely important element in your recovery, along with supplements.
If you look at it not so much as a diet but more an elimination of certain foods such as sugar and even gluten, and eating more fresh veg and fruit, it will make a great impact in general on your overall health.
A few years ago if someone had told me that diet and exercise would be instrumental in my recovery, I would want the reward for it now, not have to work at it constantly.
We are all into instant gratification.
There are some amazing books out there that can help you look at your problems differently and from a healthier perspective.
Libraries, charity shops, even Amazon sell every book you can think of quite often for very little, but start somewhere, even if you have to borrow money.
I have suggested some great books here to read that have helped me enormously. In fact many years ago when I first discovered it was depression that was the cause of all my ailments and unhappiness I reached for the first book that was recommended to me at that time, which went on to lead to many others.
It was a long road but it was the start to my healing.
Don’t underestimate the power of a good book. It will help you not just understand your depression but also about happiness in general. It will give you a healthier perspective on life, gets you to look at yourself, people and the world differently.
Read this article here, which gives more information on diet and vitamins.