You don’t have to be the Houston marriage counselor to know that depression causes serious negative effects in a person. They become less engaged in the world, convinced in their lack of self-worth, and may even consider ending it all. Anyone suffering from depression should immediately seek one-on-one help from a qualified medical professional.
What most people don’t consider when thinking about depression, though, is how the condition affects everyone around the depressed person. If you are married or dating, it can cause serious relationship issues between you and your significant other – especially if one or both of you don’t realize that you’re suffering from depression.
Ways Depression Affects Relationships from the Houston Marriage Counselor
Just like every marriage is unique, so is every case of depression, and this means that the relationship issues it causes may be different for you and your spouse. There are, however, a number of symptoms that are common in most cases of serious depression, and they affect relationships in similar ways.
Withdrawal – leads to a loss of emotional intimacy. Depressed individuals are often so self-focused that they withdraw into themselves, only thinking about others when they are ruminating on the ways that they’ve failed them. This withdrawal means that both spouses start to feel less connected to each other, making the depression even worse.
Pervasive negativity – leads to a “why try” attitude. For a person suffering depression, bad things are awful, neutral things are bad, and good things might as well not have happened. It’s hard for the partner of a depressed individual to continue making helpful overtures when they feel like nothing they do is appreciated or makes a difference. Unfortunately, if they stop trying, it often causes the depression to get worse.
Loss of energy – leads to partner feeling overwhelmed and resentful. Depression can take a physical as well as an emotional toll, causing the sick individual to neglect chores and other work. This means that his or her partner has to pick up the slack, which over time can cause anger and resentment.
Shame and hiding – leads to a feeling of helplessness. Some people are so ashamed about their depression that they don’t want to talk to their loved ones about it – let alone a professional. This can cause their spouse to feel helpless in working to fix the problem and angry that their partner isn’t doing anything about it.
Notice that none of these listed mentioned divorce, but that doesn’t mean that divorce isn’t a very real concern. It’s just that depression doesn’t cause divorce – not dealing with the depression does. If you or a loved one is suffering from depression, seek help, and consider talking to the Houston marriage counselor to deal with the relationship problems it causes.