How Depression Affects Relationships

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Clinical depression is one of the most common mental disorders on the planet, and in the United States, where it affects nearly 7% of the adult population. Not only can depression affect the individual behavior of a person who suffers from it, but it can have a profound impact on their relationship, as well. When one person in a relationship experiences depression, it adds a dynamic that can be difficult to navigate, at times. Here are some ways that depression affects a person’s relationship…

Reduces intimacy

Intimacy is an important facet of any relationship. The ability to be close and affectionate with your loved one is a mainstay of any healthy couple. However, when in full effect, depression can make it difficult to experience this intimacy, as it suppresses a lot of emotions that are necessary to foster that intimacy. In addition, depression can cause a person to experience a decrease in libido, which means that the sexual aspects of a relationship can come to a halt, as well. Nearly 3-in-4 people suffer from depression report having a diminished sex drive.

Difficulty in sharing emotions

There is an enormous misconception that depression means that a person is very sad. This is not the case. Depression is more of a suppression of all emotions, which leaves the person who suffers from it with a blanket feeling of hopelessness. Being able to share emotions is an important aspect of a relationship, but that dynamic is corrupted when depression is able to manifest. Because depression suppresses emotions, it means that it becomes difficult to share true thoughts and feelings with your partner when strong emotions inevitably arise.

Agitates anxiety

Depression often is able to enhance the symptoms of other mental issues. In particular, anxiety and depression share a sordid connection. When a person is experiencing both anxiety and depression in a relationship, it may cause them to lash out at their partner.

Causes behavioral issues

Depression is a mental disorder that can manifest both internally and externally. For individuals who express depression externally, they typically engage in behavior that is harmful to themselves or others. Substance abuse, violence, self-violence, or infidelity are all different ways that they might do this. As you can imagine, these sorts of behavioral problems can cause serious issues for a relationship.