Remember: It’s complicated, but it’s not about you.
I’m so thankful to not be depressed. Depression might just be one of the worst things ever because it’s as if you’re sinking no matter how hard you try to swim to the surface. It’s as if you’re bound and gagged and no matter what knife you use to slice the bounds, you can’t.
I’m what they call a bubbly, effervescent woman, but I’ve experienced depression in my life. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 14.8 million American adults have Major Depressive Disorder per year. That’s a lot of people.
So, whether you’ve been depressed for a few days, during a traumatic incident or breakup, for months or years, or perhaps you haven’t been depressed but know someone who has, chances are you’ve loved someone with depression before. Or been the depressed lover, as it were.
Here are some ways your depressed lover may love you differently than another:
1. We will sometimes emotionally retreat.
Depression is a tricky beast. Your lover may retreat from you due to no fault of your own in order to come with some pretty sad feelings, only to randomly return. And sometimes it may seem as if there’s no rhyme or reason to this pattern.
Know this: it’s not your fault. Your partner may retreat simply so you don’t have to deal with his or her unpleasant feelings and return when the person feels able to give him or herself without dumping a rainy parade on your head. It’s best to give your depressed partner the room to retreat as long as he or she can return without serious intervention.
If your partner is retreating to succumb to a dangerous level of depression, this is when you need to step in. One should only be allowed to wallow for so long before it becomes a huge issue.