Dating Someone With Depression: How His Illness Made Me Sick, Too someone who would swing from lucid brilliance to taciturn, angry. Dating someone with depression can be hard. It's painful to watch someone you care about suffer and not be able to help them. It can be bewildering to listen to. 1. Being depressed and having depression are very different. Specifically, the difference between "My boss yelled at me at work today, ugh".
‘I broke up with my boyfriend when he had depression’
We're not inside their heads. We can't understand why they are doing the things they are doing. We can't understand why they won't listen to reason, and they often don't have the ability to articulate why.
It took a long time, but I finally figured some of it out. Strangely enough, a webcomic put a lot of things into perspective for me. It was hard, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but as hard as it is, your loved one needs you. And when you're through the thick of it, your acceptance and help through that time will mean more to them than you will ever understand. Here are some of the things I've discovered along the way.
Your loved one isn't just sad. Depression isn't a state of being, it's an affliction. Like a cold or the flu, it can come out of nowhere and hit them.
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Or think of it another way: Depression has cut off their ability to have other friends. Depression has crippled their social life. Depression is constantly putting them through hell, making everything more stressful, making them doubt themselves, making everything difficult.
‘I broke up with my boyfriend when he had depression’ - BBC Three
Depression has beaten them -- to the point where they will have actual physical pain. Depression has taken control of their life, to the point where it's easier to just feel nothing. They're not depressed because of you, so don't take it personally. It's hard not to take things personally. It's even harder to not wonder if you did something to make your loved one depressed. When you're depressed, you feel this complete and utter inability to be yourself, and it makes it ten times harder when you're around loved ones; i.
They get to put on a show.
They get to pretend that they aren't depressed for a short amount of time. It can really hurt you to see this, and you sometimes wonder if it's just you causing the depression. If your loved one is acting depressed around you, its a good sign in a strange way. It means that they love and trust you enough to share this with you.
Sometimes, they try to hide it -- sometimes, they'll push you away.
The only thing to do is just be there. You can't "fix" them. I know you think that by being positive and following them around like their personal cheerleader, one day it might occur to them, "Yeah!
Endless supplies of positivity aren't helpful -- they actually do more harm than good.
It's reminding them that they aren't full of cheer. And most importantly, they aren't sad. I know it looks like they are, and sometimes they can feel incredibly down, but cheering up won't help.
Ask them what their triggers are, what they do to cope, and what part they want you to play in their coping strategies. What helps them may be very different than what helps someone else and honoring their individual needs is important, even when what they need is to not have you do anything at all.
I feel sad because XYZ happened. Being open and understanding about these issues is vital to nurturing your relationship. After all, your bad day at work seems like nothing compared to mental illness. You cannot turn it off because your partner is depressed, nor should you have to. Make sure you have your own supports in place that give you space to express yourself, such as friends, family, and support groups. Find a healthy way to get the stress out. Is Depression Impacting Your Life?
Their illness may cause them to lash out at others. As the person closest to the patient, you are an easy target.
Try not to take it personally. Recruit Outside Help Share your concerns with trusted friends and family members. Ask for advice and support. Take an occasional breather. Realize that your needs are important, too. This may mean anything from taking a brief respite, to a permanent parting of ways.
In any event, take time to weigh your options carefully before making any decisions that you will have to live with permanently. While the decision to leave or not will undoubtedly be emotional, keep in mind that decisions made in anger are rarely wise ones. Set a Deadline If things seem unbearable, consider setting a timetable for change.
Top 9 Things to Consider When Dating Someone With Depression – Bridges to Recovery
For example, you might decide to give it three more months. If your loved one has not sought or begun treatment by then, or has not improved despite treatment, or refuses to follow treatment recommendations as instructed, only then will you allow yourself to walk away. Consider the Practical Implications Trying to sustain a relationship with a depressed person can make the healthy partner feel helpless and more than a little hopeless at times.
Where will you go? What will you live on?