What are the signs of depression & how does it affect one's Relationship?
Almost everyone experiences feeling down from time to time. Having a bad grade on a test, losing a job, missing a train, etc. can impact our mood. Sometimes, our mood dips without any particular reason as well. However, as circumstances change, our mood gets uplifted, we bounce back, and can function as before.
However, clinical depression is different. It is not just feeling sad. It impacts our physical and emotional health and our overall functioning as a person. It does not change with the circumstances and significantly interferes with one's personal, interpersonal, and professional life. So, it is always best to avail proper mental health care near you.
What are the signs of depression and how it is different from just feeling sad.
A persistent low sad mood interferes with your functioning in your personal, interpersonal, and professional life.
Loss of interest/pleasure-
Depression can make the previously enjoyed tasks/activities less interesting. For example, if you previously enjoyed reading, Depression would make reading seem like a task. Another significant sign is loss of interest/pleasure in sex.
Weight loss or gain -
Weight and appetite can fluctuate. This experience can be different for each person. There may be an increase or decrease in appetite, resulting in weight gain or weight loss respectively.
Insomnia or hypersomnia-
Depression can lead to significant changes in sleep. One might sleep more or sleep less.
Psychomotor agitation or retardation-
The term “psychomotor” refers to the connections made between mental and muscle functions. Impairment in this area occurs when there’s a disruption with these connections. It affects the way you move, talk, and do other regular activities.
One might experience a lack of energy or get tired easily.
Feeling worthless or excessive/inappropriate guilt-
Depression can make one feel hopeless and worthless. This is often accompanied by feeling guilty. For example, one might often feel that they are being a burden on their loved ones.
Depression also impacts one’s ability to maintain focus and concentrate on tasks.
Thoughts of death/suicide-
Death wishes and loss of interest in living are seen in Depression and should be given immediate attention.
Depression impacts our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and interactions with other people as well. Be it romantic relationships or any other kind , research has shown that depression and relationships are closely related. It creates a vicious cycle where the quality of our relationships is impacted, which in turn impacts the levels of depression.
Depression makes us perceive our bond with people in a different light. Here's a list of how it impacts our relationships.
1. Your self-worth becomes low.
There is a constant feeling of self-doubt. A person suffering from depression might often struggle to find the reason their partner likes them or is with them. There might be a strong fear of abandonment and the person may require constant reassurance. This can take a toll on their partner or their friend as it might be emotionally draining.
2. Disconnect from people/ activities
Human interaction is not inherently rewarding in people with depression, hence people going through this might choose to isolate themselves. They might drop out of plans, refuse to engage in joint activities, and would prefer to stay by themselves. Due to an increase in fatigue, the person might also not have the energy to have any social interaction.
Relationships are a two-way affair and with one being distant, there are chances that it becomes unfulfilling.
3. Immense guilt
People suffering from depression experience a heightened sense of guilt. They may constantly feel like they are a burden to others and are not able to reciprocate in any way.
4. Decreased sex drive
Depression impacts our libido. The person might have lost interest partially or completely in getting intimate with their partner. It can become so severe that sex might seem pointless and the person would not want their sex drive back again. Intimacy allows people to connect on many levels, and the lack may negatively impact the relationship.
5. Not having control over emotions
Regulation of emotions such as sadness, anger, shame, confusion, disgust, and fear, to name a few might be overwhelming. With depression, dealing with strong emotions can manifest in the form of overthinking , denying or ignoring, or being overly self-critical.
With an inability to regulate emotions, dealing with conflicts can become extremely distressing for the person suffering as well as their partner/ friend. The person can either push the conflict altogether or might be highly sensitive and explode.
Being in a relationship while having depression can be overwhelming for both the people involved. At times, it can become a struggle to get through things by yourself.
Help is available. You can reach out for individual therapy or couple therapy and get a hold of your relationships.
"You don't have to struggle in silence. You can be un-silent. You can live well with a mental health condition, as long as you open up to somebody about it."-Demi Lovato
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