Depression can cause changes in mood, fatigue, overall feelings of worthlessness, and a lack of interest in socializing or hobbies. But one of the most overlooked impacts of depression is the impact it has on relationships.
Casa Serena is a premier women’s drug and alcohol rehab in Santa Monica that can offer depression treatment for those in need. Contact us to learn more about our women’s mental health treatment center.
The Impact of Depression On Couples
Without learning coping strategies for couples with depression or getting professional depression couples therapy, relationships can face serious strain because of depression symptoms.
Firstly, they start to develop communication issues within the relationship.
When one partner becomes depressed, they might be wholly engrossed in that depression and not realize that they are emotionally distancing themselves from their loved one.
The other partner can start to feel unsupported, as their issues or stresses or needs are completely ignored.
It’s not uncommon for there to be reduced physical intimacy of all forms, from a simple hug or kiss good morning to sex.
When someone with depression pulls away, they can cause changes in hormonal balances, resulting in higher stress levels that exacerbate depression symptoms and frustration in both partners.
Useful Coping Strategies for Couples with Depression
Finding coping strategies can help couples learn to manage the symptoms of depression and not let them be a detriment to the relationship.
Open communication is the first coping strategy for couples with depression. As communication breaks down in a relationship, it can cause compounding issues for mental health and intimacy, but finding ways to open up about depression is essential.
This is also a highly personalized coping strategy. What works for one couple might not work for another:
- You might want your partner to listen to you explain how you are feeling when you are depressed and then offer support by leaving you alone to watch your favorite show but checking in every hour or so
Offering Emotional Support
Emotional support is an integral form of coping with depression. Much like communication, this will be personalized to your relationship, and you’ll need to do a little trial and error to figure out what you like most:
- You might have problems expressing the impact your depression is having one day, so you’ll need your partner to go through a list of suggested activities to help take your mind off things until you find the one that fits best that day
Supporting Mental and Physical Health
Supporting mental health can involve participating in couples depression therapy. Supporting physical health can include taking measures as a couple to control how you eat, sleep, and exercise. It might also involve offsetting social isolation that can exacerbate depression symptoms.
- You and your partner might do something physically everyday, whether that is light stretching before bed, going for a walk up and down your street, or participating in a community yoga class
All of this is going to look different depending on your circumstances, personality, and the type of relationship you have. As a person struggling with depression, you might express to your partner that what you need most from them is to always push you into physical activity when your depression symptoms are high, even if, at that moment, you say you don’t want to or you push back.
The fastest way to determine what personal adaptations work best for coping strategies for couples with depression is to participate in some form of couples therapy where a qualified professional can help you make those determinations.
Finding Professional Treatment for Couples with Depression
In some cases, the coping strategies for couples with depression fall short, and you might need professional help. With professional treatment for couples with depression, you can work with qualified therapists who can review your individual circumstances and offer practical strategies that are a better fit for your relationship.
What works well for one couple might not work well for another, and generic coping strategies for couples with depression could be a great place to start, but you might need an extra boost from a therapist.
Mental Health Treatment Programs
At Casa Serena, you can benefit from depression couples therapy that takes place in a beautiful, idyllic location conducive to relaxation and open communication. Our facility specializes in several forms of evidence-based holistic practice and talk therapy. When you reach out, we can help you find the level of care and program that works best for your mental health treatment. That may involve starting with a personal mental health treatment plan using an outpatient program that incorporates couples therapy as one of several services.
Overall, coping strategies for couples with depression can provide a great place to start when it comes to managing the impact that depression has on a relationship. When one partner struggles with mental health disorders, it can affect communication, responsibilities, emotional connection, and intimacy. But with the right level of depression couples therapy, you can learn how to manage the symptoms without letting them harm the relationship.