Depression and Relationships
Depression and relationships are not the greatest mix, and yet, a
strained marriage can cause depression. Most people need to feel some
normality in the house and a feeling of safety.
Divorce is not a real fix all for a strained marriage either. It is a
well known fact that, divorce only transfers one set of problems for
another. Divorce brings tremendous financial strain, child custody
issues, and ongoing problems that last for years.
A myth about divorce is that a subsequent marriage will do
better. In fact, second marriages tend to have a higher probability of
ending in divorce than the first marriage.
That doesn’t mean you can’t work on the relationship. Actually, this is when we should work on it even more.
I can definitely attest that divorce is no easy solution. I’ve
divorced and it was an awful experience. Although I am happily married
again, I’ve learned that I must continuously work on keeping the
relationship running smooth. There are always bumps along the way, but a
good relationship is well worth the effort.
Studies suggest that long term, good marriages, are good for
mental and physical health. According to an (1) editorial published at
Cardiff University by student BMJ, David and John Gallacher, both men
and women have a healthier life (physically and mentally) by staying in a
So it is well worth the effort to keep the marriage and work on improving the relationship.
Depression and Relationships Facts
Some facts about depression and relationships study suggest that:
- Long term committed relationships result in better mental and physical health, and longer lives for both partners.
- Bad relationships can be harmful to mental and physical health.
- Divorce has a negative effect on people’s health and shorten lives.
- Multiple partners can also shorten people’s lives.
- Singles tend to be healthier than married with strained relationships.
- Teen relationships are associated with depression symptoms.
As a balance, the authors say, “it’s probably worth making the effort of a long term relationship.”
The key then is to work on improving relationships, if you are
in one. If you are not in a relationship, you may consider that
taking the risk in getting into a relationship is well worth the effort.
Life is full of risk, but most good things come with taking that
Depression and Relationships: What To Do About A Stressed Relationship?
Consider the following suggestions taken from professional counselors, and marriage advice literature:
- Consider seeing a marriage counselor. Marriage
counselors can be a great asset to have in a relationship. For one, the
appointments force you to have a regular scheduled time where you focus
on your marriage. Something many strained marriages lack is time for
Marriage counselors are impartial, and can properly guide couples in the
right communication path. It is well worth the time and effort.
- Talk charges. This means talk to each other
through-out the day; the rule is “no logistics.” Talk about anything
that is not a potential problem to be resolved.
You can talk about the weather, or the special great tasting dish your spouse made the other day.
Make it a point to do a talk charge for at least a minute or two at least five times a day. Call from work if you can.
Talking to each other about non-logistic subjects keeps things in a
relaxed mood with no pressure to “fix” or figure out anything. It is
nice to just talk and have a conversation, and reminds each other that
there’s more to life than just logistical issues to resolve.
- Touch charges. You guessed it. Touch each other throughout the day.
Over the years, partners tend to distance themselves from each other
physically. Make it a point to respectfully, and lovingly touch your
partner at least five times a day.
A soft touch on the arms or shoulders is nice. A hug would be wonderful as well.
- Go out on dates. Hire a babysitter and go out on dates. Make it a scheduled event, such as Saturday evenings.
If you schedule the date, you’ll be more committed to continue with the
habit, and your babysitter will appreciate a dependable income :-)
- Take a weekend vacation. Take a mini-vacation
with your spouse over a long weekend. Do this a couple of times a year,
and leave the kids behind with family.
Couples need to reconnect with romance, and a reminder that this romance started out with just the two of them.
- Do favors to each other. Do some of each
other’s chores without being asked. Seek for opportunities to do
something that will make your partner’s life a little easier, and do it
without any expectations.
It is always nice when somebody does something for you, so why not do it for your partner.
- Manage your depression. Continue following the treatments for depression list. You'll feel better, healthier, and have the energy necessary to work on your marriage.
So there you have it. Some wonderful tips on how to manage
and improve your depression and relationships. When relationships run
smoothly, it is easier to manage our lives and maintain the good health
practices to keep depression away.
Live well, live happy, manage your depression and relationships and live depression free.
(1) BMJ-British Medical Journal (2011, January 27). Marriage is good for
physical and mental health, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved
January 28, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com¬
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