This is incredibly promising.
By Korin Miller
Research published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships asked 135 couples—in which one person or both had clinical depression—to share how it affects their relationship. The couples ranged in age from 20 to 83 and they’d been together anywhere from six months to 46 years, making it a huge sample.
Scientists kept it simple—they just asked study participants, ‘‘In what ways, if any, do feelings of sadness or depression affect your romantic relationship?’’
Here are a few of the responses, which actually point to positive outcomes.
“My husband is very understanding, because we both suffer from depression. It helps us deal with things better, because we both understand what it is like.”
“Feelings of sadness generally lead to discussions about the cause and what can be done to improve the situation, which can take some time away from the romantic relationship, but working through the sadness together often leads to a closer connection that enhances it.”
“During my depression, I actually felt more connected with my partner than I had for a long time because I understood what he had been going through with his recurrent depression.”
Depression is no joke. It’s the leading cause of disability for people ages 15 to 44 in the U.S., the Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports. More than 14.8 million American adults are impacted by the disorder.
If you or someone you love is struggling with depression, it’s important to seek out a licensed mental health professional. There’s no shame in asking for help—and more people are in the same situation than you’d think.
This article was originally published at Women's Health. Reprinted with permission from the author.