My boyfriend and i both have depression
No one teaches us how to navigate a relationship when mental illness enters the equation. I recently read a Washington Post article by a woman whose relationship was torn apart while she and her partner tried to deal with his depression. Last year when I plunged into a depressive episode, my partner was at a loss. He had never dealt with this and wanted so badly to help, but had no idea what to do. Sure we hit bumps along the road, but in the end I felt loved, supported, and understood in a way I never had during a depressive episode, and he felt like he knew what was going on — a big deal in this situation — and was equipped to deal with it. Our experience inspired this list of 5 ways to grow together rather than apart when navigating through depressive episodes with your partner:.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Mental illness consumed my marriage -- until this epiphany
SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: 5 Tips for Dating with a Mental Illness - Kati MortonContent:
- 5 Ways to Grow Together When Depression Enters a Relationship
- 3 things to remember if both you and the person you love have depression
- What It’s Like To Be In A Relationship When You Both Have Depression
- 5 Signs That Depression Is Eroding Your Relationship
- Dear Therapist: My Boyfriend’s Depression Is Making Me Question Our Future Together
- 21 Questions to Ask When Your Partner Is Depressed
My girlfriend and I had been living together for six months when I felt the familiar weight of depression creep into my body and she began her own battle with anxiety. I tried to hide it from her at first. I didn't want her to know this part of me. I stared at the ceiling as she slept next to me in the dark, oblivious to the grief pooling in my lungs.
I felt completely isolated. The sort of loneliness that sits in your stomach like hollow hunger and leaves your bones heavy. I had no choice but to explain what was going on, so I sat and told her that I was broken.
She was kind, of course, but in some ways I still think it's easier getting through a bad patch on your own — if only because there's no witnesses. You don't want anybody to see you on low days, because their memory of you in those moments becomes a tangible part of who you are. The dark words you used in a state of defective reasoning are not just in your head; they are on record.
Telling another person was not a cure for me and it was very hard for her. She felt burdened, confused, sad and frightened. She didn't know me any more. I sought solitude because I believed my toxic thoughts would damage her. She had always had issues with anxiety but began to suffer bad, unpredictable panic attacks for the first time.
It is a real test for a partner when the person you love becomes so fundamentally altered. Their motivations are changed, their reason compromised; their words the voice of somebody else. At the beginning, we mostly had periods of difficulty at different times, and when that happened, it was manageable.
One of us had resources for both. It's was harder when they coincided. We began living quite independent lives in our own heads. We didn't care for each other any less, but both of us drew up our own veils.
In those times I wanted to reassure her, but depression had taken away any sense of stability. I wasn't convinced we were actually safe. She tried to hold off anxiety attacks, reasoning that the pain she felt in her chest wasn't something serious, while I'd lay next to her attempting to back away from a yawning gulf.
When we ran out of words, we relied on skin. I would lie sleeplessly with my chin on her shoulder and place my hand on her heart, willing it to slow. At times we became frustrated. I wanted her to see reason; she wanted me to seek optimism.
I had been her source of comfort, her anchor, but affection was no longer an intrinsic fix. We were powerless. Realising you can't be a person's antidote in that situation feels something like grief.
After a three-month period of feeling desperately disconnected, we tried our best to explain how we felt. And in opening myself up, I realised how important honesty about mental health is. My sad words were met with something authentic.
Doing it by myself had felt easier, but it was an illusion. Loneliness disguised as capability. We talked, and discovered things that eased the other's symptoms.
If I began to go down she took me to the Brighton seafront. She didn't know why it helped, but she'd sit with me in the cold, on a bench, while we ate ice cream and watched the sky change. I began to notice her expression when she started to panic, and would lead her out of crowded rooms. Without other people, it's easy to believe that whatever element of you isn't in sync is your defining thing. She and I didn't see the world through the same prism, but talking about it was a bridge over silence.
I made her laugh in desperate moments, she believed in happiness when I couldn't. We separated for unrelated reasons, but I will never regret being honest with her. And I don't think she would. Life is hollow if we aren't truthful with each other. No one person can save another, but they can provide hope for a bruised mind. Follow Emily on Twitter EmSargent. Illustration by Marta Parszeniew. Tagged: mental health relationships depression anxiety Panic Attacks Vice Blog.
5 Ways to Grow Together When Depression Enters a Relationship
Mental illness, including depression , is something every person must face and manage in their own way. But it also impacts relationships with friends, family — and particularly partners. Those closest to someone living with depression can be a huge source of love, comfort, and support.
If you are in a relationship with someone who has depression, you are likely struggling with a mix of emotions and hosts of questions. What's it really like to feel depressed? What can you do to help them through hard times? How will their symptoms and treatment impact your relationship? While every person's experience with depression is unique, here are a few things you can do to help your loved one and yourself.
3 things to remember if both you and the person you love have depression
My girlfriend and I had been living together for six months when I felt the familiar weight of depression creep into my body and she began her own battle with anxiety. I tried to hide it from her at first. I didn't want her to know this part of me. I stared at the ceiling as she slept next to me in the dark, oblivious to the grief pooling in my lungs. I felt completely isolated. The sort of loneliness that sits in your stomach like hollow hunger and leaves your bones heavy. I had no choice but to explain what was going on, so I sat and told her that I was broken. She was kind, of course, but in some ways I still think it's easier getting through a bad patch on your own — if only because there's no witnesses.
What It’s Like To Be In A Relationship When You Both Have Depression
One woman shares the story of how undiagnosed depression almost ended her relationship and how she finally got the help she needed. It was a crisp, fall Sunday when my boyfriend, B, surprised me with a gift card for a nearby boarding facility. He knew I had been missing horseback riding. I had taken lessons from the age of 8, but stopped when the barn sold a few years prior. B had reached out to the barn manager and arranged for us to go out and meet some horses that were available for part-board which allows you to pay a monthly fee to ride the horse several times a week.
The silence between us is somehow deafening, tense, and uncomfortable. They are insidious, cruel and consuming illnesses. Reality becomes blurred.
5 Signs That Depression Is Eroding Your Relationship
It's Mental Health Awareness Week and we're looking at people's experiences of mental health issues - their own and those of their loved ones. Here, our writer describes her boyfriend's struggle with depression - and the toll it took on her. I met Liam the way many modern romances start. We were friends of friends who started chatting online.
Karen S. She no longer enjoyed her favorite activities, preferring to spend weekends sleeping in and watching TV. Their sex life was nonexistent. If you experience five or more symptoms for at least two weeks, you could have clinical depression, also known as major depression. Plus, we asked therapists for their best strategies to help you and your partner survive depression together.
Dear Therapist: My Boyfriend’s Depression Is Making Me Question Our Future Together
I was ecstatic when my partner first asked me out. I agreed, and in the following months we spent nearly all our time together. But as the honeymoon period wound down, we had to grapple with the fact that in spite of the joy our relationship brought us, we were both depressed. It was a steep learning curve to figure out how to navigate our mental illness and how to be good to each other. Of course, every relationship requires work. However, when depression gets added into the mix, things become even more difficult. Depression is much more than simple sadness.
One in six people will experience depression at some point in their life, according to the American Psychiatric Association. That means it's not totally unlikely that two people with depression can end up in a relationship with each other. As rates of depression continue to rise worldwide, so, too, do these double-depression relationships. But it's possible to have a healthy long-term relationship in these circumstances.
21 Questions to Ask When Your Partner Is Depressed
Editor's Note: Every Monday, Lori Gottlieb answers questions from readers about their problems, big and small. Have a question? Email her at dear. My boyfriend and I are in our early 20s, and we recently moved in together after being in a long-distance relationship for four years.
As a year-old newlywed, I felt irrationally confident about my marriage expertise. Young and still in the honeymoon period, that seemed accurate. Besides, that quote was easy for me to post: Although I struggled with depression, I only knew my partner to be cheerful. Saying I wanted him to be happy was like saying I wanted him to have blonde hair or be a hard worker.