Dating Someone With Depression: What To Expect

There’s no defined timeline on depression, nor any guarantee it won’t return. But with commitment, time, and love, there’s also no reason you and your partner can’t have a long and prosperous future together. It can take time to recover from a depressive episode — they won’t just snap out of it. At the same time, just accepting this is the way things are isn’t helpful either.

I told him that what he was describing was a classic case of depression and tried to get him to seek help. Over the course of my freshman year, as these calls got increasingly desperate, I often wondered how his girlfriend was able to deal with this. If I, as one of his good friends, worried constantly about his mental health, I couldn’t imagine how she was able to handle the pressure. Whatever you do, do not tell your depressed boyfriend or girlfriend that you are ending the relationship because of their mental illness.

What Should I Know About Dating Someone With Depression?

Not exactly great qualities to bring into a relationship. Experts say the condition often isn’t noticeable to most people, because those who experience it tend to mask it well. This arguably makes the disorder difficult for partners to detect and the people who deal with it hesitant to speak up in the first place. Your partner’s illness may cause them to withdraw from you at times or become irritable.

How depression affects a relationship.

Everything feels a lot harder when you’re dealing with high-functioning depression ― including relationships. Of course, being in a relationship with someone who’s living with depression may not feel like it was ever a choice. You may find yourself in a relationship not realizing that your partner has depression, or the depression may set in once your relationship has already started and catch you off guard. Everyone needs social support, but friendships outside of your romantic relationship become even more valuable when your partner has depression. Also, understand that your partner’s emotions may fluctuate easily.

People with depression may find it hard to function day-to-day, much less deal with dating.

Everyone has off days, so a partner should be understanding of this. Depression can also show up by limiting the quality time spent together, says Miller. It’s common for a depressed person to withdraw or throw themselves into work or another hobby to mask their feelings. This phase of bipolar disorder usually features higher energy and sometimes ill-advised behavior. You should immediately reassess any relationship that has become threatening, and take care of your safety.

This is absolutely necessary and appropriate for a while. But when our partner has an illness that doesn’t go away for long periods of time, we have to learn how to balance taking care of ourselves while still being supportive to our partners. When you ignore your needs, they don’t go away; they only become greater over time. If you put yourself aside for long enough, you will end up feeling lonely and resentful. To begin creating more balance in your relationship, you must acknowledge that you have needs and at least some of them must be met.

If they’re already in therapy, remember treatment can take time, and not all approaches work for everyone. It’s always fine to ask how things are going, but avoid pressuring them to try other approaches. Try, “Could you tell me more about how you’re feeling today? ” Listen actively to what they have to say, offering empathy and validation instead of advice. Yet your relationship can still involve unique challenges you might not face in other relationships. Watching your partner struggle with the weight of their distress isn’t easy, and it’s normal to want to help them find relief.

Trauma doesn’t only affect you in the moment; it can also have a long lasting impact. The study also found that women were more likely to experience depression as a result of abuse, while men were more prone to anxiety. Talking to your Talking to your in-person or online psychiatrist about different medication options is key. There are many different meds, all with different side effect profiles, and some may work much better for you than others.

Dating Someone With Anxiety

« Sometimes they’re acting that way because they’re not interested in the relationship or because they take their frustration out on other people, » says Kissen. If there’s one thing you need to remember about dating someone with depression, it’s that overcoming depression isn’t as easy as cheering someone up after a bad day. While there’s plenty you can do to support your partner, be mindful that you can’t make their health problems disappear. « Know the limits of what you can do and what you can’t do—and there’s a lot more of what you can’t do, » says Kissen. Encourage and support them, but don’t put the whole weight of their depression on your shoulders.

Listening to your partner’s concerns, feelings, and frustrations plays an important role in understanding the best way to support them. Sharing your concerns with them about their health and well-being can also help them see the importance of seeking or continuing treatment for their condition. By having open communication, you are validating your partner’s feelings and showing them that their mental health is important to you.

Don’t let an anxiety disorder stop you from pursuing a promising relationship. The two most effective treatments for anxiety are therapy and medication. Some people benefit from therapy alone; but often, therapy combined with medication is most helpful.

The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. There is nothing easy about dating someone with depression, but the endless love they give you in return for your patience and support is definitely worthwhile. But all said and done, continuing to date them is a decision you and you alone will have to make. In fact, you may be saying the most profound, sensible thing ever that could totally do wonders for your lover’s spirit, but they’re just not listening. One of the most frustrating things to come to terms with is that sometimes, you can’t do a damn thing to make your lover happy.