7 Ways Depression Can Impact Your Relationship

We’ve all been in a bad mood before. Depression, however, is much more than occasionally being a “Debbie Downer.” It’s a diagnosable condition (major depressive disorder) that requires professional treatment. It’s also a strain on relationships.

Recent studies found that people with a major depressive disorder report less satisfaction and high distress levels in their relationships. They also tend to react strongly to any kind of problem with their partners. So, how do you know when depression is impacting your relationship? And what can you do about it?

7 Ways Depression Can Impact Your Relationship

1. Disconnection

Partners of people with depression report needing more time and space on their own. It’s challenging — especially if you haven’t sought out the guidance to manage the crisis.

2. A Sense of Hopelessness

Hopelessness and depression are very much linked. So it should come as no surprise that depression can induce feelings of hopelessness when it comes to your relationship.

3. Less Intimacy

Roughly three out of four people with depression report a lack of sex drive.

4. Less Social Time

Are your friends and family inviting you out less and less? We may also be struggling with how to handle the presence of depression.

5. Anxiety

Anxiety and depression are often linked. One can feed the other until cause-and-effect are impossible to discern. Anxiety, meanwhile, can wreak havoc on a relationship.

6. Bad Behavior

The partner with depression—especially if he’s a man—may express his condition through risky and anti-social behavior choices.

7. Suppressed Emotions

With depression, negative emotions become so intense that both partners suppress them in hopes that they’ll resolve themselves. But, unfortunately, they won’t. This is one of many reasons why so many people look to Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) as a source for recovery.

How EFT Can Help

As the name suggests, EFT is all about identifying your emotions. This approach can, for example:

  • Make it easier to confront uncomfortable emotions
  • Increase your emotional awareness
  • Allow you to use emotional information as a guide
  • Improve your decision making

Emotions can guide you into living a more meaningful life if you can recognize how they impact your thoughts and actions. EFT posits that emotions have the potential to help people thrive. However, to achieve this synchronicity, you must first learn how to understand and manage them. From there, problems like depression feel a little less daunting.

EFT For Depression

You may attend sessions individually or as a couple. Either way, you’ll get emotional coaching that can lessen the impact of depression on your relationship. The early part of the EFT process will involve becoming more aware of the emotions currently shaping your mindset. You will:

  • Learn to accept and name these emotions
  • Develop ways to regulate them
  • Identify the trigger-and-reaction cycle you’re in

From there, you can further challenge the destructive thoughts by:

  • Differentiating between helpful and hurtful emotions
  • Tuning in to the helpful emotions as a method of decision making
  • Better understanding where the hurtful emotions are coming from
  • Developing consistent coping mechanisms

The same emotions that cause strife between you and your partner can now become unifying.

Getting the Information You Need

People with depression notoriously avoid situations that may worsen their moods, but this will only slow your progress toward recovery. It also puts duress on your partner, which is why EFT is the kind of intervention needed in a situation like this.

The first step is to connect with an EFT specialist, and we welcome you to reach out and connect. Let’s set up a free consultation and help you get on a path toward healing.

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