Self-Help Guide: What To Do When Both Partners Have Depression

Last Update on January 19, 2023 : Published on November 12, 2022
my partner have depression so am i

According to studies, one in six people experiences depression at some point. This means that there are high chances of ending up with people in depression, especially in terms of relationships. A relationship is considered to be rewarding and comforting. It’s all about finding a safe space within each other.

In order to build a long-lasting relationship, commitment, compromise, effort, and time are required from both partners.

When we date a person with depression, it makes the relationship harder, more complex, and more challenging. But, when a partner tries to support the other partner, there are high chances of developing mental health issues as caring for a person with depression takes a heavy toll on the mental health of the other person.

For example, suppose you’re feeling low and want some alone time instead of spending time with your partner. There is a high chance that your partner might develop feelings of rejection, anxiety, or insecurity.

If you are in a relationship and you think you both may have depression, then don’t worry. This article will help you with some best and most effective coping strategies to practice when both partners have depression.

How common it can be for both partners to have depression?

It is quite common for two people to have depression in a relationship. According to the therapist, this dynamic can come out in two possible ways:

  • Sinking toward a depressed partner: We all know that we get attracted to people with similar traits, therefore, there are high chances of gravitating towards someone who has depression.
  • Triggering depression in a partner: In some cases, when a partner has depression, the other partner struggles with dealing and coping with the depressive episodes. This results in emotional instability. Consecutively, this can also trigger depression in another partner.

Can a relationship work when both partners have depression?

We all are aware that the rates of depression are increasing day by day, and there are high chances of ending up with depressed people or a depressed partner. Such relationships are referred to as double-depression relationships. Yes, a relationship can work when both partners have depression.

With the help of robust communication, mutual support, and clear boundaries, both partners can make the relationship work.

What are the possible challenges faced when both partners have depression?

When both partners feel depressed, there can be a lot of unique challenges and characteristics. According to studies, one of the major advantages of this situation is that both partners are capable of understanding the symptoms and effects of their depression. This factor helps in strengthening the relationship.

Additionally, such knowledge and understanding can help in building a sense of empathy and help in managing the symptoms of depression effectively.

Moreover, below are some of the common challenges faced by couples in this situation:

  • Dissatisfaction
  • Impaired interpersonal functioning
  • Increased withdrawal
  • Relational difficulties
  • Reduced communication
  • Reduced romance
  • Reduced intimacy

What are the best coping techniques to practice when both partners have depression?

Below are some coping strategies that can be used along with therapy sessions to keep the relationship intact with your partner:

1. Maintain individual resources for managing and curing depression

Make sure each of you creates or searches for your own resources and techniques for managing depression. Never keep your counselors, psychologists, or support system the same.

Additionally, remember, prevention is better than cure so make sure you are also taking good care of yourself along with your partner. You can also create individual crisis plans for emergency situations so that both of you can stand up for each other during such rough times.

2. Take regular follow-ups with each other to understand the recovery process

It’s always a better idea to take regular follow-ups. Checking up on each other can help in learning healthy coping mechanisms, healthy meals, social activities, and other activities. It also helps in strengthening the bond between you and your partner.

3. Follow schedules and routines together

Additionally, try to follow healthy coping strategies and routines together so that both of you can track each other’s progress and make sure each one of you is in recovery mode. You can try meeting friends, doing social activities, or taking healthy meals together.

4. Find unique ways to prevent withdrawal

The major symptom of depression is withdrawal including friends and partners. Therefore, it is really important to be in touch with your partner so that they can understand that they have got your back.

Do it unintentionally so that they can also reflect on the same. For example, during low days, you can try going on a walk or sharing meals so that you both can distract yourselves from the bad mood and engage in strengthening the relationship.

5. Monitor triggers together

For a better recovery process, you need to work on your self-awareness process together. It includes learning about your triggers and symptoms of your partner’s depression.

Additionally, be aware of the present, thoughts, situations, behaviors, or feelings that can have a negative impact on your relationship. You can also start journaling your thoughts to recognize and manage your triggers.

6. Work on strengthening your relationship

Sometimes, the episodes or symptoms can be so worse that they can impact the ability to communicate or regulate your emotions. This can impact your relationship negatively, therefore, learn to strengthen your relationship as well by prioritizing healthy communication and managing intense emotions.

7. Don’t leave your partner alone

Never leave your partner alone even in worse situations as it can have negative impacts on their depression as well. By encouraging reliance and seeking professional help you can learn how to stand for your partner in tough times.

You can also learn to set healthy boundaries so that you can show your affection to your partner in the right manner.
You can always consult a mental health professional for relationship, recovery, or healthy coping skills-related queries.

8. Take responsibility for each other’s mental health

Never tell your partner what to do or what not to do instead try to fix their symptoms by appreciating them and teaching them healthy coping skills without creating a conflict. Both of you are amazing and worthy of love therefore, take each other’s responsibility in a healthy manner. Never try to fix them instead support them.

Coping with Depression Can be Overwhelming When Both Partner Have Depression

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I help my depressed partner?

Always encourage your partner to seek professional help and participate together in the sessions so that you can also discuss your mental health problems in front of a therapist. Additionally, you can also seek couple therapy.

2. Can you have a healthy relationship with someone who is depressed?

Yes, you can definitely have healthy depression with someone who has depression or any other mental health illness. To make your relationship long-lasting, you can try taking the support of a relationship counsellor.

3. Can depression make you not interested in your partner?

Depression can cause emotional changes in your partner which is why they may want to isolate themselves. But, with the help of the right approach and self-help strategies, you can make your relationship healthy.

4. Is being depressed in a relationship toxic?

Like life has ups and downs, so does relationships. If you consistently feel unhappy or drained after interacting with your partner, it could be a sign of a toxic relationship. for more info, click here.

5. Is intimacy good for depression?

The study suggests that our brain releases dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin during sex which can help in increasing feelings of relaxation and happiness. This means, yes, intimacy can temporarily improve feelings of depression.

I hope this blog helps you with the coping strategies to practice when both partners have depression. Comment down and share your views on “can a relationship work when both partners have depression?”

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Thanks for reading and happy recovery!

Next Read:

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10 Signs You’re Self-Sabotaging Your Relationship (Why And How To Stop)

About The Author

Aayushi Kapoor
Aayushi Kapoor

Aayushi is a Content Creator at Calm Sage. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Food Technology and a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. Her constant interest in the improvement of mental health, nutrition, and overall wellness embarked upon her career as a “full-time educational writer.” She likes to make an asynchronous connection with her readers. Her mantra for living life is "What you seek is seeking you".

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