Depressed Partners

Disreality Illusion

The Loss of Feeling in Depressed Partners

Living with depressed partners can mean living without the feelings of love that are at the heart of every relationship. What is it about depression that could turn intimate companions into cold and blaming strangers? Readers ask about this over and over as their partners start blaming them for their own unhappiness and want out of the relationship. How could the person they most loved and trusted suddenly turn on [...] Read the rest»

Living with Depressed Partner

Living with a Depressed Partner

Several readers have asked about the best ways to respond to warning signs and symptoms of depression in their partners. The illness tends to separate two people in many ways, so the question always arises: What can I, the well partner, do when the symptoms start to push us apart? I think the first thing is to have realistic expectations about anything you do or say. You can’t prevent depression [...] Read the rest»

Couple in mystic woods at sunset

Can You Be a Therapist for Your Depressed Partner?

A couple of readers have asked me to comment on whether it’s possible or advisable to try to act as a ‘therapist’ for your depressed partner. This idea came out of responses to one of the posts on relationships that has attracted the most attention on this blog: How Can You Communicate After Your Depressed Partner Leaves? The word ‘therapist’ has to go in quotes because a non-depressed partner cannot [...] Read the rest»

dawn sky

Waking Up a Depressed Partner

I remember years ago talking with a friend about his recent divorce and remarriage and mentioning the stressful time my wife and I had been having at that time. He bluntly suggested: Well, why don’t you leave? I told him I wouldn’t do that since I thought the problems were as much on my side as hers. He looked at me quizzically and said: “Really?” – as if that were [...] Read the rest»

Tense Couple Talking

Reconnecting Depressed Partners Despite Fear and Shame

Men and women have the same need and longing to connect with each other, but they also have different ways of reacting to stress that can drive them apart. Psychotherapist believes that these instinctive coping strategies can trigger the fear and shame that isolate partners from each other. Depression makes the disconnection that much worse. These coping strategies can come up in relationships as a typically male sensitivity to shame [...] Read the rest»

Ebook cover image

The Surviving Depression Together Ebook Is Now Available

I’m pleased to announce that the first Storied Mind ebook is now available. Surviving Depression Together contains new versions of more than 20 posts on relationships published here over the past five years as well as completely new content and material previously published only in the newsletter. It has all been edited and organized into a smoothly flowing reading experience. Here is an excerpt from the introduction: “I’ve been married [...] Read the rest»

burning sunset in dark clouds

Does the Partner or Depression Cause the Breakup?

I’ve often described the way depression can break up close relationships, but does the illness explain everything? How responsible are depressed partners for the human cost that others pay because of what they do when they’re ill? One reader told me I’d confused her about this. First, I talked about depression taking over someone, as it had done to her husband. The angry stranger he became was the opposite of [...] Read the rest»

Separated man and woman watching sunset

How Depression Spreads

Depression spreads through the closest relationships almost like a communicable disease. I learned the hard way that the illness didn’t happen to me alone. It happened to my children, my friends, and most of all to my wife. The pull of depression took me away from her and everyone else. I often felt I was choosing to be alone in order to feel better or to escape situations that seemed [...] Read the rest»