Depression is not something that hits you like a dump truck, but rather creeps into your mind slowly, eventually affecting your mind, body, spirit, and ultimately those around you. Depression can feel like mental and physical quicksand pulling you into a black hole and leaves you feeling like there is nothing you can do to stop it.
If you suffer from depression, here are five warning signs that may help you identify the symptoms, and how they affect your relationships with others. Symptoms of depression and the effects they have on relationships are also cyclical, which means the worse the relationship becomes, the worse the symptoms of depression become, and vice versa.
1) Diminished Sex Drive
When depression begins to take hold of a person, they become disinterested in a wide variety of activities they once enjoyed. One aspect of your relationship that often becomes affected by depression is intimacy and sex drive. The feeling of not wanting to take part in any regular activities together, including sex, is common in relationships where one or both people suffer from depression.
2) Feelings of Hopelessness
As depression begins to have an effect on your confidence levels and self-esteem, you may begin to have negative assumptions about your partner’s love, intentions, and affection toward you. You begin to feel worthless and assume your partner and loved ones feel the same way about you. As time goes on these feelings only get stronger, and it’s easy to feel like things will never get better.
3) Highly Sensitive
Another common trigger in a relationship affected by depression is becoming highly sensitive to criticism, and a general irritability that easily affects seemingly harmless situations. Feelings of self-pity over comments made by colleagues or family members can result in resentment toward the people who care about you, and who meant no harm in what they have said. Having the assumption that those closest to you are becoming malicious toward you is certainly a warning sign that your depression is affecting your relationships.
4) Temptation to Act Out
Those suffering from depression are more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol in excessive amounts to help fight or escape some of the symptoms described here. An increased use of drugs or alcohol, different from normal behavior, can be warning signs that depression is having an effect on your relationship.
5) High Anxiety Levels
Constant worry about how others perceive you and feelings of uncertainty about the future of your relationships are signs of high anxiety levels. Anxiousness and constant fear of failure at home and work take depression to a new level, and will consume your relationships with the ones you love. Depression can also lower your motivation to complete tasks, develop apathy towards work, deadlines, and general productivity or an interest in spending quality time with friends and loved ones.
When depression begins to affect those around you, those who are ultimately the most important people in your life, and who care about you the most, it is important to be able to understand and identify the symptoms associated with this common problem.
Depression can feel like a never-ending spiral of doom and despair, but knowing how it affects those around you may help you to find ways to fight back, and get the help you need to have better mental health. If you or a loved one suffers from depression and could use professional help to keep close relationships intact, give us a call or contact us today at 202-641-5335.