5 Honest Reasons Why People Who Are Depressed Are More Likely To Cheat

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depression and cheating
Heartbreak

People who are depressed sometimes do things that are hard for people who aren’t depressed to understand.

Some are small, like not being able to get out of bed. But some can be much more significant — like cheating on their partners.

Though it may not seem like it, depression and cheat have a connection.

Therapists and life coaches who work with relationship issues that involve infidelity often see depression as one of the root causes.

Does depression lead to cheating? Do depressed partners cheat on their spouses?

Understanding the reasons why they might is important for the cheated-on partner to work through their partner's infidelity and still be able to build a future together.

RELATED: 'Why I Cheated' — 5 Brave People Reveal The Real Reason They Strayed

Here are 5 reasons why depression and cheating go hand-in-hand.

1. Depressed people are prone to self-destruction.

They might not get out of bed, or stop eating, or avoid hanging out with their friends. They might isolate and lash out at people who love them.

People who are depressed feel so badly about themselves that they are driven to make themselves feel worse.

Unfortunately, they can be prone to being unfaithful purely because of these self-destructive urges.

They believe that they are worthless, that no one loves them, and that they are losers in the world who will never get ahead.

And the best way to reinforce those beliefs is to do something so terrible — like being unfaithful.

Being unfaithful helps them believe the worst about themselves, which, unfortunately, will only make them more depressed.

Furthermore, this self-destructive behavior will persist and could get worse, if people who are depressed aren’t treated. As a result, the infidelity will continue, unabated.

2. They often self-medicate.

When people are depressed, they will do anything to feel better, even if for a moment. Since psychotropic medication is so stigmatized in our culture, people often search for other ways to make themselves feel better, if only for the short term.

Healthy ways to do this include exercise, sleep, spending time with loved ones and doing things that traditionally make us happy.

Unhealthy ways to cope include drug and alcohol abuse, isolation, and infidelity.

In my experience, one of the most compelling things about an affair is not the sex (although, of course, that's part of it). What's most compelling is that when having an affair, the person steps out of their life.

They step out of the mundane life that they're living, with a partner and a job and, perhaps, children and a dog. They step away from chores and petty arguments. With an affair, everything is fun and flirty and they feel like the person they used to be.

How great would that feel for people who are depressed?

3. They feel hopeless.

The hallmark of depression is hopelessness — about their place in the world, about their relationships, about the future, and about how they will never stop being depressed again.

When the future is hopeless — when today is hopeless — people who are depressed often throw caution to the wind. Things that used to seem out of the question, like infidelity, suddenly seem doable and even attractive.

"Why not?" they think. "Life sucks anyway so why not just make it all worse by doing something that might blow up my relationship?"

The longer the hopelessness persists, the more the person will cling to their affair, proving to themselves that the world is a terrible place and they are a terrible person in it.

RELATED: Why Do People Cheat On People They Love?

4. They lack self-control.

People who are depressed often lack the self-control they had when they weren’t depressed. The boundaries that held them to a standard in their relationships — and in society — are cast aside.

People who are depressed will drink more alcohol, eat more unhealthy food, sleep longer hours and do things that self-sabotage, purely because they can’t help themselves.

They do this so that they will feel better in the moment, which can serve to chase away that depression, even if it returns again later.

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If someone is presented with an opportunity to be unfaithful, their depression just might make them weak enough to lean in, even if they had never had any inclination to do so before.

5. Orgasms make them feel better.

Did you know that having an orgasm fills your body with feel-good chemicals, chemicals that help alleviate depression for a few hours?

Many of those chemicals mimic the medications that are used by doctors to treat depression successfully. With orgasms, they're give to you organically.

Unfortunately, for people with depression, sex with the person they love is difficult. They feel so badly about themselves and believe that their partner deserves better.

Therefore, sex with someone they don’t know, they don’t have a history with, is much easier.

When they have sex with a new person, orgasms are plentiful and strong, and a very effective means of staving off the depression that is sucking them dry.

Understanding why depression and cheating on your spouse are connected is an important part of working through your feelings if you or your depressed partner has strayed.

If the cheating partner is willing to accept that they are depressed and get treatment, it's likely that the infidelity will end.

And if it does end, there's a much better chance that the couple will be able to recover from the betrayal and move on.

Furthermore, treatment will also help them manage their hopelessness, their self-destructive ways, and their self-hatred, which will only make them better partners!

How good would that feel?

RELATED: Should You Forgive A Cheater? 14 Signs It’s Safe To Get Back Together

Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based, certified life and love coach. Let her help you find, and keep, love in this crazy world in which we live. Email her at mitzi@letyourdreamsbegin.com and get started!

This article was originally published at Let Your Dreams Begin. Reprinted with permission from the author.