What To Do About Your Relationship DepressionThere is something really different and difficult about the type of depression that you can see in a relationship. For one, not a lot of people take it seriously because many people don't thing that a relationship is reason enough to be "depressed". Many people feel that death of a loved one is a good reason. Loss of income/job is a good reason. But not a "bad" relationship or the "end" of a relationship. Somehow, people many people dismiss that pain as something less.
Yet if you've ever been in a relationship, you know that isn't the case. Depression in or after a relationship is very real and can be very devastating. Here are some case study examples, perhaps you connect with one of these scenarios. (*Names have been changed for privacy)
Case Study 1 - Regina and Mark
Regina and Mark are a couple who are in their 20s and have been in a relationship for 3 years. Their relationship was pretty steady and dependable according to both of them until Mark was offered a job on in Texas (they lived in Connecticut). They decided that they wouldn't let the move end their relationship and continued to see each other exclusively.
Mark moved to Texas but 9 months into the move he had an affair with a new co-worker. He confessed to Regina and Regina ended the relationship. Regina has not been able to sleep, has been crying at random times of the day, eats irregularly, and was been put on probation by her job for poor performance since the split. The split was 6 months ago.
This is not just the "blues". What Regina is experiencing is normal when you've suffered what I call a "relationship injury". She is so angry that Mark moved, that Mark cheated, and that her relationship is no longer what she can depend on -- she turned all that anger inward and became clinically depressed.
I recommended that Regina seek weekly therapy immediately and begin a weekly exercise ritual of either Yoga, Walking, or dancing.
Case Study 2 - Ursula and Ben
Ursula and Ben are a married couple in their 30s. They have been married for 5 years. For three of those five years, Ben has been drinking alcohol excessively. After work. With meals. Before bed. Every day. His behavior when he drinks is starting to take a serious toll on their marriage. While he is able to maintain his job, it's about all he can do. When he comes home he is really unable to engage Ursula. He drinks and plays on the computer until it's time for bed. Ursula wants to have a baby but is worried that she would be bringing it into an unhappy home.
This is not just what "men do". This is someone (Ben) who is depressed and is medicating himself with alcohol to manage the psychological pain that accompanies depression. Why he is depressed is a bigger issue that should be discovered and worked through in therapy and no big life decisions should be made between Ursula and Ben (like having a baby) until this issues including the alcohol use are addressed.
If you feel that you may be depressed because of something going on in your relationship or after a bad break up, take it seriously. Sure, sometimes time can heal a lot of things, but it's better to make sure that you will treat yourself safely during the time that it takes you to heal. Sometimes it's important to discuss your feelings in an effort to forgive yourself or the other person in order to heal. In that case, I recommend that you talk to a counselor or therapist in your local area. Other options are a a spiritual leader in your community, a trusted family member or friend.