All You Need to Know about Dating a Depressed Person
Dating someone with clinical depression can always be difficult. You will find yourself in sheer pain while watching your special someone suffering so badly. It may even be a bewildering experience to hear them out when they negatively talk about themselves. When someone is in depression, they are full of negativity and strongly believe that they have accomplished nothing in life and do not have anything to live for. Encountering such a situation can leave you to feel helpless and even confused about how you can help them get rid of those all-or-nothing, black-and-white thought patterns.
Many people dating someone with depression look for advice because they cannot seem to find a way to help someone they love. The problem is that depression has a very convincing voice and it is often so dominating that there is no room for a reason. Therefore, it can be tough for the other partner to maintain their calm and still find a way to be helpful. Here is more about depression and how to help your dating partner manage it all.
Learn How to Date Someone with Anxiety and Depression
It is natural to be a bit anxious when you find yourself in stressful situations, but you cannot seem to get out of that mode, leading to clinical depression. It can happen to anyone, and if you are with a depressed girlfriend, there is a long list of do's and don'ts to help your relationship work.
Depression can affect anyone, and when your girlfriend is the victim, you should be ready to deal with some challenging situations down the road. For starters, make yourself understand that there is a lot more to that person than her depression. You also need to realize that you are probably going to fail trying to cure your girlfriend's depression. But, your role is important, and you should come forward to help them come out from a dark space.
While doing it, there is no point in reasoning with her or telling her how wrong she is. Also, trying to tell her that your efforts are just because you love her might also be a waste of your energy, especially when she is already deep in depression. Forcing anything on her in that situation could lead to distance and disconnection. In reality, you need to proceed carefully and ensure that even when you do anything with a good intention; it might backfire and lead to arguments.
Strive Hard to Create a Balance
To make a relationship work, you need to continually assess if you have the grit to meet your dating partner's needs and your own needs. You need to strive to create a balance and then do your best to maintain it. By learning to balance your needs, your partner's needs, and the relationship's needs, can help you feel fulfilled. It is easier said than done when your girlfriend is suffering from clinical depression. You lose that balance swiftly, and you find your relationship on the rocks before you even realize it.
When your girlfriend is ill, but you love her a lot, it is natural to put her needs first and forget about your own. Though it is needed and works for a while, you just cannot continue like that because the balance is missing. You need to realize that your partner is going to fight with depression for a long, so you have to find a way to support her but learn to take care of yourself at the same time. Not learning to do it right could threaten a relationship.
Ignoring your needs is not the answer to the problem, in that they are only going to become greater with time. Putting yourself aside for a very long time is only going to make you feel lonely and often resentful, which is bad for your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Therefore, you need to sit back, take some free time, and ponder on how to handle your own needs to promote a balance in your relationship.
Choose the Right Way to Support Your Partner
Whether you are dealing with a depressed girlfriend or a depressed boyfriend, always understand that you will have to show your support in subtle ways. You need to understand that though your first instinct is to help your partner and feel good about that, it won't work with a depressed partner because the care you offer is rarely well-received. Therefore, it is so easy to feel drained and shut down, which might endanger your own mental and emotional well-being.
Here, it is critical to understand how to offer care to your partner. It often means to redefine what being helpful to a depressed partner means. Understand that you just cannot "fix" their depression. Do not try to fix it by pushing them unnecessarily, but learn to be more supportive all the time. You will have to be sympathetic, empathic, and compassionate to show your support. Learn to be accepting to help change how they feel, as they are more likely to receive this kind of care with a positive attitude.
To make it work, you will have to learn what your partner feels, wants, and needs. Sometimes, hugging them or holding their hand and saying nothing might work. Understand that offering this type of care to a depressed person often means you are going to join them in their suffering. It may take a toll on yourself, so do not shy away from seeking whatever help you can find.
To ensure you stay in the best state of mind, you need to learn how to focus on the positive. You need to remind yourself of many other reasons why you want to be with your girlfriend or boyfriend. Do focus solely on their illness and how they respond to the level of care you offer? Intentionally focusing on their positive attributes will help them and help you to maintain the right balance in a relationship.
Learn How to Handle Depressed Girlfriend the Right Way
Dating with depression and anxiety is never going to be easy, but it can be just as difficult to be with someone suffering from the illness. When your girlfriend is depressed, you need to handle the situation wisely, or you may end up losing her.
First, you need to ensure if she is really depressed or just sad. Anyone can have blue days, but it is something different from depression. Therefore, it is of immense importance to learn how to differentiate between everyday sadness and depression. The major difference is that everyday sadness may be due to personal or professional issues, and it comes and goes away after some time, whereas depression lasts for months or even years. Also, a depressed person will lose interest in activities, experience weight gain or loss, have uncontrollable crying jags, or develop suicidal thoughts.
Depression can strike you in many ways. Sometimes, it is situational and triggered by recent life events. Some other types may have a long-lasting presence, especially when your girlfriend suffers from a persistent depressive disorder. Some depressive disorders may strike you during certain times of the year only. Statistics show that women are twice as likely to develop these systems as men, so it is possible that you have a depressed girlfriend, but it still needs to be confirmed before you trying any approach to help and support her.
When you are dating someone with severe depression, here is what you can do to help:
- Talk to her nicely and suggest mindfulness practices, such as meditation and yoga. If she learns to focus more on the present, she is likely to feel more relaxed. It helps take the stress out of the picture and improves the chances of bringing her back to life.
- Be there when she is slipping in a dark space. Encourage her to share her feelings with you. One of the many symptoms of depression is that the person tends to withdraw and cut their social activities. Do not let her do that; instead, encourage her to go out more and understand how important it is to interact with others.
- Suggest therapy to help her overcome her depressive state. Often, short-term counseling proves effective, but sometimes, the person needs it over the long term. Be around and encourage her to use all the help she can get, and at the same time, make her believe that there is nothing wrong in admitting that she needs support for her illness.
- Support her if she is dealing with an addiction. So many times, someone with depression would try to bury their bad feeling in alcohol or drugs. If that is the case with your girlfriend, you should encourage her to stop seeking additional treatment. Unless you take substance abuse out of the picture, you just cannot hope to make her feel better about herself.
- Be more practical when it comes to helping her. Know your limits but be there to help whenever you can. Your depressed girlfriend might lose all her motivation to perform day-to-day activities, so you will have to give a hand with cooking, groceries, etc. Be prepared for it.
Above all, you have to learn how to be more patient when dealing with a depressed person. You may be giving your best, but know that you have to be like that for a very long time, as depression often lingers long-term. Be patient and extend it to help her realize that things will get better. Continue doing your research to gain valuable insight into how to help someone with depression. Do not neglect your own needs and try ways to stay motivated, even if that means reading dating someone with depression and anxiety quotes.
Learn More about Depressed Men and Relationships
While many people continue looking for advice, asking, "I think my girlfriend is depressed, so how do I help?" it can be the other way round too. Depression can hit anyone – male or female, and it can be just as tricky to handle your male partner who is struggling with this illness.
You need to understand that it can be very challenging to date a man with depression while protecting your own emotional and mental health. A depressed man is likely to drag you to the dumps with you, which is why you need to put your best foot forward and know how to make things better. That is when it pays to learn more about why relationships fail when there is one depressed person involved in the equation.
Sometimes, it happens because your partner's sex driver tanks. When his mood plummets, the first thing it hits is his libido. If you are a sexually active person, you may feel the brunt here because sex is usually the glue connecting couples together. You have to understand the situation and make you realize that he is not doing it intentionally. It is not because he no longer feels attracted to you. In fact, even though his desire to get intimate has evaporated, it is never a reflection of his overall feelings for you. He may need antidepressants, and they can easily exacerbate low libido. Understand that and give him time to recover.
Similarly, he is likely to quarrel a lot more when he is depressed. He may start to act short-tempered or nag you more than ever. He may look impatient and even cynical at times. Do not react abruptly to those feelings, or it will lead to fights, and you may end up losing someone special. Make yourself realize that it is temporary and his mood is affecting his behavior. Try to get out of the situation and extricate yourself from arising conflicts.
Overall, you should not make any quick decisions or react to any situation without considering the fact that your partner is ill and needs support. You should always try to help your partner by encouraging them to get treatment. To do it, you should express your concern, share whatever symptoms you have noticed, discuss whatever you have learned about clinical depression, and talk about specific treatment options, such as medication, psychotherapy, and lifestyle changes. The experience can be exhausting, but your persistence will eventually pay off.