It can be hard to tell how your issues affect others around you. If you’re suffering from depression, you can often feel isolated and alone. But you likely have people in your life who love and care for you. And despite what you may think, those people have noticed your depression. So, wondering how does depression affect relationships? Keep reading for the four signs your depression is affecting friendships and relationships.
4 Signs Your Depression Impacts Friendships and Relationships
Here are four major signs your untreated (or unmanaged) depression is harming your romantic, family or friend relationships.
1. Your Sex Life Has Dried Up
Whether you’re going through depression in marriage or dating, this mental health condition can take a toll on a romantic partnership. One of the most common adverse side effects of depression on a couple is a lacking sex life.
This happens for many reasons. First, most of us don’t want sex when we feel bad. And a depressed person is often feeling really bad most of the time.
And second, depression can result in a lowered libido. Without a desire for sex, you might not be very likely to initiate or respond to your partner’s cues for some time in the bedroom.
Of course, the irony is that sex boosts your mood and confidence and helps make you feel close to your partner.
A healthy, strong relationship requires a healthy sex life. If you know your depression has reduced or killed your sex drive, ask yourself how this has impacted your partner. It might have made them question whether you’re still attracted to or still love them.
You shouldn’t have to force yourself to do anything you don’t want to, but it’s imperative to check in with your partner. Address that you know the frequency of sex has decreased and that it’s not because of them or anything they did. Explain to your partner how you’re feeling and what this has done to your libido. A good partner will understand and work with you on a solution to get you back to a healthy place where you also feel up for intimacy again.
2. You’re Isolating Yourself
Depression can be very isolating. You feel alone all the time, even if loved ones surround you. And when you’re in a depressive episode, you typically don’t want to engage in social activity. So, you begin to turn down invites and cancel plans last minute. Then you start to feel bad about never showing up for the people in your life, and you begin to believe that everyone hates you.
This is a terrible cycle to put yourself in. Ultimately, you’re distancing yourself from those who care most and want to help. Additionally, being social, getting out of the house and connecting with our loved ones can be very good for your mental health. It can be a mood booster and help you feel supported.
If you find yourself constantly saying no to plans, recognize that pattern and try to make a change. You might not always be in the mood to socialize, but remind yourself that you’ll enjoy getting out of the house. And if you’re not in a good place to leave home, ask your friend to come over instead.
3. Fighting Is the New Normal
Depression and dating aren’t the best combinations. Unfortunately, someone who is depressed can often lash out and start fights with their partner. You feel angry and confused with your emotions, and sometimes, you redirect that anger to the wrong place: to the people in your life who love you the most.
It’s important to know that depression doesn’t always present as sadness, crying or moping around. Sometimes, when a person is depressed, they’re used to thinking awful things about themselves. Being used to this inner dialogue can make it easier to lash out and say equally awful things to others.
You’ll know you’ve been fighting more because the people in your life will mention it. The fights can be with friends, family, partners or work colleagues. But if you’ve received many comments about your irritability and aggressiveness, it’s time to listen up.
Try to apologize to those you’ve been starting fights with and let them know you’re going through a challenging time. Explain that you accept responsibility for being short-tempered, but it’s coming from a place of inner turmoil, and you’re working on sorting it out.
(Anxiety also frequently accompanies depression; check out this advice: 6 Tips for Overcoming Anxiety That’s Hurting Your Relationships)
4. Self-Care Isn’t a Priority
One of the most apparent signs a person is going through an intense period of depression is when their self-care severely declines. If you’re struggling with depression, you might find it hard to eat, sleep, shower, exercise and groom. Alternatively, you might be oversleeping or overeating, making you lethargic and slow.
When you stop caring for yourself, those closest to you notice. A partner might worry that you’re not invested in the relationship anymore and can’t be bothered to keep up appearances for them. And friends and family might worry that you’ve given up.
It’s not your job to make others comfortable, but know that when people express worry about your declining self-care, it’s from a place of love.
You might not have the energy to keep up with the same level of exercise and grooming as you previously have, but try to work on some of the essentials. Take a shower and brush your teeth every day. You’ll be surprised how much taking care of yourself in these small ways will boost your mood.
Consider Getting Help
Depression is one of the most prevalent mental health conditions today. The condition can take over if you don’t seek help, potentially even becoming life-threatening. However, as scary and overpowering as depression can be, the good news is that it’s treatable.
If you’re finding the frequency, intensity or length of your depressive episodes increase, consider getting help immediately. You deserve to live a happy, fulfilled life, and professional treatment can help you get there. Your loved ones will appreciate having the old you back, too.
Depression Treatment at FHE Health
FHE Health is a Florida-based healthcare institution offering mental healthcare services. We believe that every patient is different and deserves a personalized treatment plan that fits their needs. Our compassionate, experienced counselors are ready to help you take the first step to a new life. Contact us today for more information.