Guest Author - Lisa Angelettie M.S.W.
Are you able to love someone who is depressed? Is it possible to have a meaningful relationship when there are days that your partner can't get out of bed, can't see the silver lining, or has trouble even brushing their teeth on a regular basis.
It sounds dramatic - but as many of you already know. Its something that can slowly happen with someone who you are in love with. It may start with them sleeping in a little later on the weekends and then it escalates to a full-blow problem with getting up at all. Getting excited about anything. Or getting involved in anything remotely interesting.
Its difficult to say the least - on a relationship. Especially if this is new. Such as a new baby in the house. Or an illness. Or a mid-life crisis. All typical instances of when you will see uncommon depressive symptoms in your partner.
*Jamie met her new boyfriend at work. He seemed to be a hard worker, intelligent, and a fun guy to be around. Once she began her relationship outside of work - she saw another side of him. She was sure that he must be clinically depressed, because going to work was actually the only thing he could really muster up enough energy to do. He had to. He had to pay bills. But she could see that is was very difficult for him to do it. It was almost as if it was painful for him to live his life.
This was not a turn-on for Jamie to say the least! In fact, she decided that she was going to "save" her new boyfriend from himself. But that proved to be the demise of their relationship. Because of course he needed therapy and probably a little medication to help pull him out of the abyss. Her love unfortunately was not enough.
Remember - depression can present itself very slowly in people. You notice little things, and then a few more, and then you may notice that they become increasingly present. By that time - you are probably already heavily emotionally invested in your new partner.
Is it a death sentence? Absolutely not. Just know that depression is not something you can yell at your partner to "snap out of!" It will take a great deal of patience and support on your part - and the foresight to know that it does get better when you both of you really desire for it to work.
The best thing you can if you are with someone who is clinically depressed is to find out all you can about it. Research! The internet is chock full of info and your family physician can give you plenty of information and tips as well. Reach out to friends and family too. Everyone knows someone who has experienced depression in one way or another. There are plenty of people who can be your supporting cast!
Lisa Angelettie, "GirlShrink" is an online advice authority. Her site GirlShrink.com is the #1 "Advice & Counseling" site on the web. Visit her site for a personal advice session. Please visit us for more discussion on this topic in the depression forum to talk about it further. Don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter for topics in the news, new articles, website & book reviews, and other useful mental health resources. Subscribe below.