Many misconceptions surround depression, with some people believing that you can just pull yourself together if you wanted to and others thinking it is simply a lack of willpower. Depression is hard to understand, unless you suffer from it. It encompasses feelings of dejection, self-doubt, and despondency. The people that are closest to us don’t always understand how depression affects our lives and that we want to feel better. There are several reasons why your partner doesn’t understand your depression and knowing them can help you, help them to understand and be supportive.
It isn’t just sadness
Depression is more than just being sad. We are sad when we watch those commercials with the poor starving babies or the abused animals. Depression is not the same thing. If you can express the difference between depression and sadness, you are on the right track. Therapists at Tarzana Psychology have experience with couples and can help you find ways to help your significant other understand your depression.
Your partner must understand that sadness is a normal feeling and is triggered by something that is disappointing or hurtful and is something that will change. Depression, on the other hand, is an abnormal emotional state that affects the way we perceive the world around us, our emotions, our behaviors, and the way that we think. There is not necessarily an event or trigger for these feelings and they aren’t always fleeting.
They believe they can help
Many partners believe that they have something to do with the depression and that they can do something to help you with it. This may be the case at times, but for the most part, they are unable to really help with the situation, except if they want to support you. Their lack of concern is another factor of this cycle. When they are unable to help, there is a chance that they will fail to understand.
Their lack of understanding does not equate to a lack of love and it is not something to take personally. It likely bothers them that you don’t feel like they do about your lives together. If they equate depression with sadness and they think it is something that you can just turn on and off, it can make them feel a certain way. However, you can’t let how they feel become a personal attack on yourself, or you are simply perpetuating the depression.
They haven’t experienced it
It is hard for your partner to understand that depression leads to you experiencing an irritable mood for most of the day, without any way to stop it. They don’t understand that sometimes it makes the things that you used to love to do, not so interesting. The changes in your weight or appetite wreak havoc on your body and your lack of sleep or oversleep fail to help. They don’t see how time stands still sometimes or seems to speed up. They don’t know that you feel guilty for not being the person that you used to be or that you feel worthless.
Regardless of the reasons why your significant other fails to understand your depression, it is important for YOU to understand that it isn’t your fault and Tarzana Therapy can help. Try to be open with them and explain your feelings in ways that they may understand. Remind them that you want to enjoy things with them and get the proper help and counseling you need to work through it. Include them in your journey to recovery, so they can help you, and they will be able to understand how you feel. It is a wonderful way to have a support system and for them to understand how hard it can be to overcome some of the feelings associated with depression.