Dealing with depression is complicated. It makes school, your social life, your confidence and your overall state of happiness much more difficult to sustain. Adding a relationship to that unreliable foundation has the potential to make it all come crumbling down.
Dating or being married to someone who suffers any mental illness can be very challenging if you do not understand what it is like to be in their shoes. I have witnessed many relationships succeed, however, despite the presence of mental illness.
If you show the right amount of support, you can be a reliable anchor for your partner.
Yes, it can be frustrating, and it may make you feel like you are walking on eggshells, but I promise, it is worth it. Everyone is capable of finding, accepting and giving love, even people with mental illnesses.
What I will be expressing is all based on my personal experiences with relationships while dealing with borderline personality disorder. Hopefully, my story resonates with others who are suffering with depression and makes you feel less alone and more understood.
There are always people who understand; you are never alone.
Constant Fear of Abandonment
A lot of people who suffer with depression have an increased fear of abandonment. This can be caused by personal circumstances, or even just by overthinking.
For me, I have had a lot of people leave my life because they did not want to deal with my depression, and found their moods were affected because of me.
So, when you are with someone new, you may become needier or even clingy because you are trying so hard to hold on to that person. But, sometimes, holding onto something too tightly causes that something to pop.
You'll drive yourself crazy and make yourself insecure if you continue to convince yourself you can easily be replaced. And, when your partner goes to social gatherings without you, you'll fear so much he or she will meet another individual, hit it off and leave you.
You might even fear such abandonment so intensely, you will force yourself into undesirables situations just to make sure it does not happen, even if you're screaming on the inside.
Moods/Feelings Towards Your Partner
Mood swings are even more escalated than a roller coaster; this can make commitment very complicated for some people.
I could love someone one day and put him or her on the biggest pedestal, only for the next day to come and I lose all feelings just like that. Because of this, I tend to rush into relationships.
I will break up with a guy, then a few days later, find someone else without feeling anything.
Some people feel like they need to have someone at all times (which isn’t a good reason to get into a relationship). The tiniest thing will completely turn me off from an individual, making me lose complete and utter interest.
It can be so frustrating because someone could be so right for you, but you cannot help but get hot and cold without any warning.
Making Your Partner Miss Out On Social Gatherings
The very thought of having to step outside the house to socialize with people can be so intimidating. This can make your partner frustrated at times because he or she is missing out on seeing friends to stay home with you.
I once had a boyfriend who would force me to go out; I would get anxiety attacks halfway through the gathering and we would have to leave early. I just was not ready.
Now, I am a bit better; my confidence has improved over the years, and I am able to handle gatherings more comfortably.
Pushing Your Partner Away
When you are depressed, you either want to isolate yourself from everyone, or you want your partner to cuddle with you, but will not divulge what is bothering you.
When most people with depression are upset, it is for no apparent reason, or for a reason which the person escalated entirely on his or her own.
You might just be going about your day and a huge weight suddenly falls on your shoulders. Your partner likely gets frustrated and complains when you do not open up, but it is not your fault. You can’t control it because, literally, nothing is wrong. You are simply depressed.
Sometimes, depression can be so bad, you can't even muster the desire to utter "nothing" in response to an inquiring partner or friend who asks what's wrong. These are, often, the times you want to be alone, isolated.
Personally, I can go days without talking to my partner as a result of my overwhelming depression.
These are just four of the many examples of how relationships are complicated by depression or another mental illness.
I have been struggling to find a committed relationship because of my mood swings, or my lack of emotion towards others. If your partner is depressed, sometimes, the best thing to do is to just sit with him or her in silence and let him or her be in another world.
Trying too hard to get through to someone with a mental illness can just push someone away.
If your partner is hurting him or herself in any way, do not yell; do not place judgment or question his or her actions. You are not a miracle worker, and you cannot get rid yourself or someone else of mental illness.
Mental illness is there; it must be accepted and dealt with in the best ways possible. Try encouraging your partner to get help; be there to listen and be patient. If you are battling mental illness, consider seeking help yourself, and asking your partner to simply understand.
It can be hard at times, but no one said love was easy. Stay strong.