Are Depressed People Capable of Love?
Until you learn to love yourself, can you actually love another person? If you suffer from clinical depression, are you scared you may never learn to love yourself? Are you therefore scared you may never be in love? Some depressed teens actually fear for their lives as adults because of this. They are quite concerned that they will never be capable of being in a relationship, but the good news is sometimes they are also quite wrong! Truthfully, they may not like themselves very much, but it is still quite possible to have someone fall very, very much in love with them. The picture on the right is a snapshot from "Prozac Nation" with actress Christina Ricci who plays a teenage girl with diagnosed clinical depression. She has relationship problems - Ricci portrays a teenage girl who tends to push her boyfriend away and declare that their relationship will never work. Don't be silly Christina! You CAN LOVE even if you feel terrified and trapped in a tunnel of despair.
Chronic suffers of depression feel like they have dealt with depression for as long as they can remember. They've been on and off medications and to many therapists, but depression still persists deep within their core. They can feel it every day - A tiny inkling sensation that causes overwhelming emotional pain at the most inconvenient of times.
Intense love is frightening for sufferers, because every day they fear that one more thing will push their partner over the edge. Their depression doesn’t care that they are in a relationship with a partner who makes them laugh, tells them that they're attractive several times a day and cares more deeply for them than any other person ever has. In their minds they are always scared, because they know that they will eventually have a moment when they roll over in bed, teary-eyed for no reason, and they fear that this may push their partner away. It becomes a difficult daily balancing act between their fears and their love. People with depression know that their actions sometimes upsets their partners even though they try to reassure them through their salty, blurred vision that it’s not their fault.
They are often overcome with guilt and hate that their feelings about themselves cause their partner any pain on their behalf. Guilt is changed to gratitude for the nights they are held when they cry for hours with no reason, and for the times when their partner puts up with their random periods of irritability. Every day is a struggle because they are constantly on edge, going back and forth between caring too much and not caring at all, wondering when their partner will have enough and leave.
Depression is like being in a dark tunnel.
The person with depression can’t see a thing, because everything is surrounded by darkness. Every sound is amplified, and every fear is magnified. All they want to do is get out of the tunnel, but they can’t see where to go and they don’t know what to do. The depressed person may not want to be led out of the tunnel, because their fear is too great and the darkness too dark. If their romantic partner tries to drag them out of the tunnel, it is more likely to make them curl up and hide than to result in a postive shift, because fear is the nature of the illness.
What partners need to do is be there for them. If the depressed partner is talking, it's important to listen before speaking or give them opinions - Just really listen. Sit with them, however upsetting or shocking the things that they say. When they finish sharing with you, hug and reassure them that they are loved. Also reassure them that however long it takes, they will be supported until they find the strength to get better.
Partners may never be able to lead someone out of the dark tunnel by dragging the person out, so all they can do is stay in the tunnel with them until they feel strong enough to lead themselves out, and it's difficult to do. It’s thankless and at times, partners often feel rejected, but it's important not to give up on them. Remember to support them, love them and be there for them until they find the strength to get better.
If You Are Depressed, You Can Love
If you suffer from clinical depression never let anyone tell you that you are not worth being loved if you don’t love yourself. Never let anyone tell you that your mental illness is the reason why you are not in a relationship. Never let anyone tell you that you should smile more, change your hair style, or wear different fashions. Never let anyone makes you feel bad about what you don't always control. Someone will be in love with you regardless of your most comfortable state, and if that happens to be curled up on the floor of your room, crying as you listen to your favorite sad songs, then you have found love, and that is OK.
As for partners, remember most of all, when they talk, you sit back and listen!
- Jeff Stein
What It's Like To Be In Love When You Have Depression. (2014, June 16). Retrieved January12,2015,fromhttp://thoughtcatalogcom/holly-everett/2014/06/what-its-like-to-be-in-love-when-you-have-depression/
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