Depression and Relationships

DepressionDepression is fairly common – one in four women and one in six males will be depressed at some stage of their life; and one of the biggest impacts it can have is on our most intimate relationships.

Most people use the word depression as a way to describe a time when they feel down, lose interest in things that normally are fun and when they pull away from others and social events.

Signs your Partner may have Depression

Major depression is when those negative feelings become overwhelming and the person experiences physical symptoms, such as weight gain or loss, or sleeping difficulties (too much or too little) for longer than a couple of weeks.

There are many ways that people experience depression and different ways of treating types of depression. Individuals with supportive networks – including their partner – often recover more quickly. It is important to identify the cause of depression as part of working out how to treat it and prevent it from recurring.

Postnatal depression or PND affects a couple’s relationship during a time which already presents major challenges: the care of a new baby! About 16% of women will develop PND.  What many people do not realise is that Antenatal Depression occurs during pregnancy and is as common as PND! Depression during pregnancy often leads to depression after the baby is born so it is important to identify and treat it as soon as possible.

What causes Depression?

Depression is often caused by a combination of factors, such as:

  • lack of positive relationships
  • financial hardship
  • conflict at home or work
  • poor diet and sleeping routine
  • past trauma
  • misuse of alcohol or other substances
  • lack of exercise
  • physical illnesses,
  • burnout from a poor work-life balance.

Some families are inherently more vulnerable to developing depression which is important to know as there are many things you can do to build resilience and improve your ability to cope in adverse circumstances. Depression may occur due to a major life change such as entering or leaving a relationship, moving to a different location, or onset of a major illness.

Depression and Relationships: Help is Available

The good news is that there are many ways to help yourself and your loved one with depression. By reading some of the links on this page you will find plenty of information and ideas. The journey to personal recovery is driven by you and finding the right sort of help is important. Seeking positive relationships and making lifestyle changes can help. Your GP should be involved in treatment as there are many physical health problems that can cause depression.

Counselling in particular is helpful for depression and relationships, as it provides a sounding board for changing the way we feel and think about situations that cause distress. Psychologists provide counselling for depression and current research supports that some therapies such as Interpersonal Psychotherapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy are effective treatments. Many people find a decrease in symptoms within the first couple of visits and are able to identify the cause of the negative emotions and feelings of hopelessness.  Counselling helps by improving coping, resilience, confidence and self-esteem and communicating more effectively.

Some people have more complex situations for which they will need long term support such as leaving a relationship or managing workplace bullying.

If you suspect that you or your partner may have Depression, come and see us for a no obligation, free emotional health check up. It includes a face to face 30 minute consultation to discuss your mental health, and information and options for follow up treatment if it is warranted.

Freecall 1800 877 924.