Is depression affecting your relationship?

How depression affects relationships. Couple standing in front of stormy skyDepression is a common disorder and can impact anyone. Depression occurs in both men and women as well in children and teens. It is essential that we understand how depression affects relationships so we can get the help we need to thrive in life and our relationships.

What is depression?

Depression is more than a transient low mood. Depression is persistent sadness, hopelessness, and often irritability, which can range from mild to debilitating. On the milder end of the spectrum, depression simply takes the joy out of living. We lose interest in the activities we once loved. The perceptual and chemical changes that take place when we suffer from depression for an extended period of time can create substantial changes in our personality and how we treat those closest to us in life.

Depression can cause irritability and overreactions to small stressors. Ongoing depression is serious and can progress suicidal thoughts and suicidal ideation.

There are several signs of depression. Some of them include:

  • Feeling tired and easily fatigued more days than not
  • Feelings of hopeless
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Feelings of emptiness and worthlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Lack of motivation and energy
  • Suicidal thoughts or ideation

How depression affects relationships. Couple standing under an umbrella

How does depression affect your relationship?

If allowed to continue, depression can change the way you perceive yourself and the world. People who have been in a close relationship with a partner suffering from depression say that they seem like a different person. Their personality and behavior changes. In couples where one or both partners are depressed, research shows conflict is more likely.

This is likely because when depression lowers mood, increases irritability, and causes a negative viewpoint, there is more opportunity for conflict. A depressed partner may say hurtful things, withdraw, feel irritable, or overreact to small stressors. This causes stress in the relationship and removes the opportunity to connect and enjoy each other's company.

Over time, the relationship begins to deteriorate and unfortunately, in many cases, depression can increase the likelihood of breakups and divorce. Experts say it’s not the depression itself that leads to the dissolution of the relationship, it’s the consequences of untreated depression. The changes in behavior that occur will cause lasting and serious damage.

If you or your partner are experiencing depression, it is important to understand that depression is among the most treatable disorders. Prolonged suffering and ruined relationships are unnecessary. It is important to get help. Not just for the one who is ill, but for both partners in the relationship.

Therapy for depression in Auburn, California

Erik Olesen & Associates provides therapy in Auburn, CA. If you would like to learn more, call now and book your first appointment, or fill out the contact form and click Send. We offer a complimentary consultation via telephone.

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